London-based NewSmith Asset Management is further broadening its capabilities with the appointment of a Hong Kong-based Asian equities team.


NewSmith Asset Management is the investment management business of NewSmith Capital Partners.


The firm has named Low Seow Che and Chua Wan Hoon as new partners. The team will begin providing investment management services in Asian equities to institutions in the first quarter of 2006, pending regulatory authorisation from Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission.


They will work from NewSmith's newly established office in Hong Kong.  In addition to its London headquarters, NewSmith already has an Asian presence in Singapore, led by one of the firm's founding partners, Check Low.


"We are delighted to have attracted such talented individuals as Wan Hoon and Seow Che to the firm," said NewSmith Capital Partners' Chairman, Michael Marks. "We believe Asia presents significant investment opportunities over the medium to long-term, in particular the secular growth zones of India and China.  Asia has been a major focus for us since we launched the firm and these appointments will enable us to build on our momentum in the region."


Wan Hoon has 15 years' experience in Asian equities, and was formerly investment consultant to Arisiag Greater China Fund, managing assets in excess of USD 400 million. She has also worked at the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, managing over USD1 billion in Asian equities. A specialist in the Greater China region, Wan Hoon holds a first class honours degree in Economics from the University of Singapore, and is a CFA Charterholder.


Seow Che has 14 years' experience in Asian equities, serving at prominent Asian investment institutions. He was formerly a senior Pacific-Rim portfolio manager at JF Asset Management, managing USD 3 billion in Asian equities. He was responsible for managing the JPMF Asia Diversified Fund from 1998 to 2005.  He has also worked at JP Morgan Investment Management, where he headed investment and equity research in Singapore. Seow Che holds a first class honours degree in Economics from the University of Cambridge, and is a CFA Charterholder. 


Check Low said, "Wan Hoon and Seow Che are outstanding investment professionals who have produced superior returns over the investment cycle in volatile and rapidly evolving Asian markets.  Their intensive fundamental stock picking approach and their deep local knowledge of companies is highly attractive; we believe that stock selection is becoming an increasingly important driver of returns in Asia."


Stephen Zimmerman who heads NewSmith Asset Management, said, "These appointments reflect NewSmith's ambition to foster a culture of investment excellence. Seow Che and Wan Hoon will offer our clients the benefits of a strong stock-picking record as well as broad regional expertise."


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