New York/Hong Kong/London: Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is shutting two hedge funds run by senior executives based in Asia, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The funds, which together manage about $1.4 billion in assets, were run by Goldman Sachs partners Ryan Thall and Hideki Kinuhata, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Kinuhata is retiring and Thall is expected to start his own fund, the people said.

A spokesman for Goldman Sachs declined to comment. Thall and Kinuhata didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

The two hedge funds operated under the Goldman Sachs Investment Partners division, which has about $4 billion in assets, the bulk of which are private equity or venture capital types of investments. Hong Kong-based Thall and Tokyo-based Kinuhata made long-short equity bets in Asia and globally, the people said.

Part of the reason for the closures is fickle demand for such hedge fund-like products at a time when the industry has struggled to outperform benchmarks and investors are seeking alternative options to generate outsized returns.

The Oryza Capital fund, which focused on Asia, managed about $478 million and returned 0.6% this year through July after gaining 19% in 2017, according to a newsletter seen by Bloomberg News.

Growth struggle

The hedge fund industry has struggled to grow in recent years as investors resist pricey money managers who produce paltry returns. Clients placed $9.8 billion with funds last year, the least since 1998, according to Hedge Fund Research. And for three years running, the number of traders starting out has been outstripped by those shutting down.

Goldman Sachs had about $150 billion globally in alternative investments spread across public and private markets as of 30 June.

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