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Singapore impact firm obtains HK licences

Earlier this year, 8F Asset Management attracted at least $300m for its first fund from family offices and institutions globally, including Asia.

Singapore-headquartered 8F Asset Management has received licences to conduct regulated activities in Hong Kong.

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) awarded 8F Investment Partners HK last month licences for advising on securities (Type 4) and asset management (Type 9), according to the regulator’s records.

The firm can only provide services to professional investors in the SAR, the regulator noted.

Founded in 2016, 8F is an asset manager focused on impact investing. It manages private equity funds that invest in vertically integrated aquaculture production and procession facilities. Besides Hong Kong and Singapore, the firm also has offices in London and Germany, according to the firm’s website.

In March, 8F announced that it was able to raise $358m for its first fund from institutions and family offices globally, including Asia. The fund, the 8F Aquaculture Fund I, is focused on developing a socially and environmentally responsible land-based salmon farming business. It invests in “vertically integrated aquaculture production and processing facilities, using land-based sustainable recirculating aquaculture system (RAS)”, the firm explains in its website.

FSA sought more information from the firm about the new licences, but it was not able to reply in time for publication.

In Hong Kong, 8F’s responsible officers are Karim Abou Ghannam and Billy Wang, according to the regulator’s records.

Ghannam is based in Singapore and is one of the firm’s founding partners, according to the firm’s website. Before 8F, he was managing director and head of alternatives and fund solutions for Asia-Pacific at Deutsche Asset and Wealth Management (now DWS).

The firm’s other founding partners are Stephane Farouze, who is also 8F’s chairman and was also previously at Deutsche Asset, where he was chairman for alternatives. Another founding partner, Martin Fothergill was Deutsche Bank’s global head of multi-asset products.

Billy Wang, meanwhile, is a Hong Kong-based investment director. Before 8F, he was a director at Bank of China International’s private equity division, focusing on pre-IPO investments in China’s TMT, logistics warehousing and renewables sectors.

The firm has at least five investment staff, three of which are based in Singapore, according to the firm’s website.

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