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Fast growing Asia hedge fund Segantii hit by resignations

Nishant Kumar
Thursday, 30 Jan 2014 | 1:22 AM ET

HONG KONG, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Segantii Capital Management, one of Asia's fastest growing hedge funds, has been hit by five recent resignations, people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, after the firm saw its first annual loss.

Such an exodus is rare in the industry, and it marks a sharp u-turn for a fund that grew to manage about $750 million from just $25 million in 2007, making it one of the biggest capital raising successes in the region.

The current staff turnover follows at least six departures last year that included its Chief Operating Officer Nigel Hellewell, who left just a year after joining the firm.

Key recent departures include Fei Chen, who was responsible for capital markets and event driven investments. He left this month after nearly five years at the firm, sources said. Kirtes Bharti, head of financing, will leave next month, sources said. Reached by phone, Chen and Bharti declined to comment.

Derek Tam, who helped manage relative value strategy, has resigned along with Patrick Ko, who runs the firm's middle office operations, according to the sources. Convertible bond and volatility trader, Lewis Fellas, has handed in his resignation and will leave next month, the sources said.

Tam, reached by phone, declined to comment. Efforts to reach Ko and Fellas were unsuccessful.

Segantii's Chief Executive, Kurt Ersoy, speaking to Reuters by telephone, declined to comment on the resignations.

Hong Kong's securities regulator has issued 41 staff licences to Segantii since the fund's launch, according to data compiled by webb-site.com, which is run by former independent director of the Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing, David Webb. The hedge fund had only 18 licence holders as of Jan. 29, the data shows.

(Reporting by Nishant Kumar; Editing by Michael Flaherty and Edwina Gibbs)