Templeton's Mark Mobius is considering a plan to set up a hedge fund, the emerging market guru said in an e-mail to Reuters, a move that would mark a major shift from traditional money managers into the $1.9 trillion alternative asset management industry.
"Yes, we are considering it," said Mobius who oversees more than $40 billion as chairman of Franklin Templeton's Emerging Markets Group.
He did not divulge details of the fund as the plan was not final yet.
The star manager enjoys a strong success in Asia, where his flagship $15.5 billion Templeton Asian Growth Fund has given investors an over-five-fold return in the past decade, making it the second best Asia ex-Japan equities fund over 10 years ending December 2010, according to data from Thomson Reuters Lipper.
Singapore-based Mobius' move comes at a time when large American hedge funds are looking to set up shop in Asia as more and more institutional investors aim to boost exposure to the fast-growing region in search of higher yield.
Assets under management of Asia ex-Japan hedge funds are expected to surge to about $140 billion by the end of 2011 from just over $110 billion now.