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Minnesota manager heading south

Austin’s warm weather is just one thing that attracted Pine River Capital to the city.

When was the last time you heard someone call Austin, Texas, a must-be-there location for money managers?

Possibly never, but after doing the math — the nine largest institutional investors in Austin have aggregate assets of $230.7 billion — executives of Minnetonka, Minn.-based Pine River Capital Management LP decided to open an office in the Texas state capital.

Pine River Capital's first office south of the Mason-Dixon Line opened last month, with Steven Kuhn, partner, portfolio manager and head of fixed-income trading, heading the office, confirmed Richard Knight, partner and head of business development.

Mr. Kuhn is not just a snowbird, seeking relief from splitting his work time between snowy Minnesota and frigid New York. He already owns a home in Austin — making him the logical choice as the senior executive in the office — and will be an active cheerleader for both the city and Pine River Capital, Mr. Knight said. Mr. Kuhn now will split his time between the Austin and New York offices.

“There are great schools in Austin to recruit young graduates from, and Austin definitely is an easier sell to established investment managers we're interested in hiring than Minnetonka,” Mr. Knight said. Support and marketing staff will be added to the southern outpost of the firm over time.

Pine River is an alternative investment fixed-income specialist managing $11.6 billion in hedge, mortgage, credit and tail-risk funds, among other esoteric investment strategies. — CHRISTINE WILLIAMSON

This article originally appeared in the March 4, 2013 print issue as, "Minnesota manager heading south".