Global hedge fund Lionhart Investments is considering adding a trading function to its new Middle East office, according to Greg Froese, Lionhart’s investor relations manager.
On Monday the firm received approval from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) to set up an office in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). The hedge fund will use this office essentially as an investor relations hub covering the Middle East, North Africa, India and Sri Lanka. The new office will be headed by Jim Quinn, senior executive officer of Lionhart (Middle East).
“At the beginning there won’t be a trading function at the DIFC office, although it is something we are seriously considering,” Froese told theTRADEnews.com. “About 10% of our Asian-focused fund comes out of the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait so we do have investment there. We have researched and studied the opportunities there and at some point the office may include trading.”
According to Froese, the new office will give Lionhart better access to investors in the Middle East, and is in keeping with the firm’s desire to have a local presence in key markets. The company now has offices in London, Toronto, New York, Singapore, and now Dubai.
“If you look at a map we essentially cover all of the time zones, and we always believed that having a local presence makes a huge difference, for both trading and investor relations,” Froese said.
Lionhart has been investing in the Middle East almost since its inception in 1993. It decided to set up the new office to demonstrate that it is committed to the area. “We find that investors in particular are looking for companies that have a commitment to the region, so we have developed that concept and worked over the past year to set this office up,” said Froese. “You have to go through the DFSA to receive permission to be in the DIFC. Going through that process shows a certain amount of commitment and people in the region know that.”