Former Lehman Brothers Asia executives, who headed the bank's structured products division and its syndicate business, have launched their maiden hedge fund investing in distressed structured credit assets, said the partners in the fund firm, Oracle Capital.

Oracle Investment Fund, targeting assets of $50 million over the next few months, had received backing from a U.S. institutional investor, said Fredric Teng, one of the founders of the company.

The fundraising environment is difficult. Anyone can start a fund with their own money, the challenge is in getting institutional backing, said Teng.

Institutional investors have shied away from putting their money into start-ups in Asia in the wake of the financial crisis, despite the high pedigree of many of the new managers behind these funds.

Our fund is a new and specialized strategy that might make it harder to tick some of the boxes for institutions, so the fact that we raised institutional money is very encouraging.

The fund firm has also received investment from some institutions in the region and former senior executives from Lehman Brothers.

(Reporting by Parvathy Ullatil; Editing by Chris Lewis)