No, it is not the people with whom the 1MDB folks play the card game bridge. Rather, Bridge Partners is the Hong Kong-based fund manager 1MDB appointed to manage RM7.7bn in funds in the Cayman Islands.
The full name is Bridge Partners Investment Management (Cayman) Ltd.
The RM7.7bn (US$2.3bn) funds were investment in a segregated portfolio company (SPC) called “Bridge Global Absolute Return SPC” which was registered in August 2012. This investment, expains business weekly The Edge, is in “a high-risk portfolio, and investors were warned they could lose everything”.
The Edge probes the background of Bridge Partners and how it was formed through a management buyout of Baron Asset Management Ltd in 2008 and some of the characters involved. And the paper concludes:
From available information, it appears that Bridge Partners is not really a big firm in corporate finance. And in the area of asset and fund management, its track record is even more obscure.
In the case of Bridge Global Absolute Fund, according to its website, it has funds in excess of US$2.5bn. Considering that US$2.3bn was from 1MDB, it is apparent that not many others are attracted to the fund.
The Edge then posed two questions:
- Why did 1MDB park RM7.7bn in such a high-risk portfolio fund?
- How does it fit in with 1MDB’s stated mission to drive sustainable economic development and promote foreign direct investments?