Eastern Advisors Alums Off to Strong Start

Aleph One Capital, a spinoff of Tiger Management seed Eastern Advisors Capital, was up 20% in its first 10 months of trading.

The New York firm, led by former Eastern Advisors analysts Itai Lemberger and Manish Saini, trades a long/short equity book that returned 18% from April 1 to Dec. 31 ó a period when most hedge funds suffered losses. Indeed, the Eurekahedge North America Long Short Equities Hedge Fund Index fell 7.8% during that same span. The Aleph One Capital fund gained another 2% in January, trailing the indexís 3.8% return.

Lemberger and Saini launched with $10 million of seed capital from Eastern Advisors, which also provides back-office support to their two-man operation. Aleph One opened to outside investors in October, and is now approaching $25 million of assets. Most of the firmís clients invest via separate accounts.

Lemberger and Saini maintained a short-biased stance for most of last year, which helped generate handsome profits when markets sank in August and September. The fundís short book generated a 20% return for 2011, while its long book posted a 3% loss.

New York-based Eastern Advisors is an Asia-focused manager founded by Scott Booth in 2003 with backing from Julian Robertsonís hedge-fund seeding business. At Aleph One, Lemberger and Saini invest mostly in North American companies.

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