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Kazakhstan: Compass seeks new direction with fresh funds

"I was bullish on the long-term economic prospects for Kazakhstan before I came here, and I still am"

Brian O’Callaghan, Compass

Given an increasingly positive economic backdrop in Kazakhstan, the prospect of important developments in the local capital markets and growing investor interest, Almaty-based fund manager Compass Asset Management is looking to launch two new funds targeting the resource-rich central Asian state. Brian O’Callaghan, who assumed the post of chief executive at Compass in the summer of 2010, believes that Kazakhstan is strongly positioned to attract new followers in the coming year. "I was bullish on the long-term economic prospects for Kazakhstan before I came here, and I still am," he says.

At present Compass boasts $250 million of assets under management, split between the $70 million in-house Kazakh Compass Fund (KCF) and the $180 million Tau Capital fund, which it manages on behalf of UK-based Spencer House Capital Management. "We’re one of the largest investors of international money into Kazakhstan, acting as a gateway for foreign capital into the country," O’Callaghan says. Both investment vehicles were established in 2007, shortly before Kazakhstan was hit by the global credit crunch.

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