Martin Currie Investment Management will acquire the $167 million RIT PK Japan long/short hedge fund as well as the services of its veteran London-based manager, Paul Kirkby, who will lead a combined $425 million Japan long/short business for the firm.
Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
A spokeswoman for the Edinburgh-based Legg Mason affiliate said there are no immediate plans to merge the RIT PK Japan Fund with Martin Currie's $258 million Japan Absolute Return Fund.
Mr. Kirkby and Paul Smith, co-manager of the RIT PK Japan Fund, and three administrative personnel, will join Claire Marwick, investment director and manager of Martin Currie's Japan Absolute Return Fund. Mr. Kirkby will lead the team.
Peter Douglas, a principal with CAIA Singapore as well as principal of Singapore-based hedge fund consulting firm GFIA, said the union of a boutique manager with “very good” long-term performance numbers, such as Mr. Kirkby, with a firm that can supply needed infrastructure and systems could be mutually beneficial.
RIT Capital Partners, an investment trust of the Rothschild family, is the biggest investor in the RIT PK Japan Fund, with £62 million ($97 million) as of June 30, according to RIT Capital Partners' mid-year financial report.
An RIT Capital spokesman said the change of ownership wouldn't affect RIT Capital's investment in the fund.
A Martin Currie spokeswoman wasn't immediately available to say whether PK Investment Management, the boutique firm Mr. Kirkby set up 13 years ago, would close down.