Lawrence Park aims for C$200 million in assets by 2014

Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:14pm EDT
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By Jeffrey Hodgson

TORONTO (Reuters) - Lawrence Park Capital Partners aims to manage C$200 million ($203 million) in assets by the end of next year after reaching C$36 million with the launch last month of its flagship credit-focused hedge fund, Chief Executive David Fry said on Wednesday.

"We'd like to be at C$100 million by year end. I'm reasonably confident that we'll get there, probably double that for the end of 2013," Fry said in an interview at the company's offices in an converted knitting factory.

Fry, who co-founded the Toronto-based hedge fund manager with fellow TD Securities veteran Andrew Torres, thinks the firm's focus on fixed-income investing will help it stand out in a Canadian hedge fund sector that is much smaller than those in centers like New York, London or Hong Kong.

Lawrence Park's profile received a major boost in February when one of Canada's largest mutual fund managers, CI Financial Corp (CIX.TO: Quote), said it would seed the start-up and take a "significant" minority ownership stake. It also plans to market the fund to its wealthier clients.

Lawrence Park's four partners have all worked on proprietary trading desks outside Canada for lenders include Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) and ABN Amro, with a focus on trading credit products.

Many banks are winding down these types of operations because of the Volcker rule, mandated by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, that aims to ban banks from trading with their own funds to prevent the kind of risk-taking that helped trigger the global financial crisis.

"Those types of activities at most global banks are going the way of the dodo essentially," Fry said, noting that reduced competition from banks created more trading opportunities for hedge funds.

"Our thought really is that we can take that strategy ... and put that in a product that we can deliver to Canadian investors who are, from we can tell, generally starved of alternative fixed-income products."   Continued...