Fortress opens shop in Singapore

New York-based alternative assets management firm Fortress is to open an office in Singapore. The office will initially host its Asia-specific macro-trading activities to be led by Adam Levinson, reportedly one of Wall Street’s top earners.

Fortress Investment Group is to expand its presence in Asia following the opening of an office in Singapore.

The New York-based alternative assets firm, which counts real estate among its investment strategies, will initially use the office to run its Asia-specific macro trading activities. Fortress’s liquid markets co-chief investment officer Adam Levinson, who has been with the firm since 2002, is to transfer from New York to lead the division in the region.

Levinson was reported to be one of Wall Street’s top earners in 2008. According to a report by England’s Daily Mail, he was given a share grant worth $300 million at the time by the firm.

While the firm did not specify whether significant real estate operations would also take place at the Singapore office, to open in early 2011, it has been increasing its exposure to the asset class of late, particularly from its other Asia office in Tokyo.

Earlier this year, it raised more than $800 million for its first Asia real estate fund, the Fortress Japan Opportunity Fund, a vehicle which will capitalise on distressed debt situations in Japan among other assets. One standout investment by the fund was a $230 million acquisition of corporate debt at private equity real estate firm daVinci Holdings, a deal which effectively saw it take a controlling position in the Tokyo-based firm.

The firm has also acquired a number of real estate loans in Japan from subsidiaries of collapsed Wall Street bank Lehman Brothers.

Fortress had approximately $41.7 billion of assets under management as of June 30, 2010.