NWQ Capital Management, a boutique alternatives firm based in Perth, has appointed a celebrated supporter of Australian hedge funds as an adviser.

Richard Keary, who managed more than $1.8 billion as the head of alternatives at BT Financial Group, and won the 2006 Hedge Fund Award for best individual contribution to the industry, became an adviser to and minor shareholder in NWQ last month.

NWQ has partnerships with two US managers, Lakeview and Saguenay Capital. Keary said his role would involve bringing the expertise of these managers to Australian institutions, and helping to determine whether institutions could benefit from their capabilities. 

He said high quality hedge funds would become particularly useful to investors as economies proceeded toward either inflation or deflation in coming years.

He said that the execution of strategies would be more critical now than in the past – “when the rising tide lifted all boats”.

"There is an interesting discussion to be had about how super funds can get from where they are with hedge funds to where they need to be.

NWQ, which builds hedge fund-of-fund (HFoF) portfolios, was launched last year. It’s partnership with Lakeview, which was established in Chicago by Dick Elden and James Gordon, gives it access to the manager’s activist HFoF, which includes vehicles from renowned managers Carl Icahn, Chris Hohn and Phil Falcone.

Elden founded the first HFoF in the US with Grosvenor during the 1970s. He is also an advisor to NWQ, and has known Keary for about 10 years – ever since Grosvenor was introduced to the Australian market through the Rothschild HFoF.

Saguenay manages co-mingled and customised multi-strategy HFoF portfolios, and a global long/short portfolio from a New York office.

Keary added that NWQ had committed to improving investor education by funding the position of a visiting professorial chair at the University of Western Australia.

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