Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch unit plans to sign up five Asian hedge-fund start-ups a year as part of its emerging manager program that gives them exclusive access to the bank’s resources, usually reserved for managers of billions of dollars.
"We want to channel our resources to a fewer number of high-quality start-ups,” said Ben Williams, head of Asia-Pacific financing sales. The platform, which has been in operation in the U.S. for three years, will give new hedge funds full access to resources in the bank’s equity division, including research, access to corporate clients, and prime-brokerage services that would enable them to borrow stocks and help them trade, Williams said.
Bloomberg News reports that Merrill Lynch is luring start-ups that are most likely to succeed and become lucrative long-term clients, as new regulations have made it more expensive for banks to offer services such as stock loans to hedge funds.
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