Quellos Group, the alternative investment manager that has agreed to sell its fund of hedge funds business to BlackRock, has announced the opening of an office in Hong Kong, the firm's first permanent presence in Asia although it has been active in the region for many years.

The Hong Kong office will focus on both investment management and client service and will be lead by senior professionals. Shih-Wei Peng, a principal relocating from the US, and Mark Woolley, a managing director moving from London, will lead the marketing in the region.

Quellos's decision to set up the office was the result of its significant existing clientele based in Hong Kong, the growing presence of alternative investment managers in the territory and the wider region, and dramatic growth projections for both investment opportunities and potential clients in Asia, with Hong Kong as the epicentre.

Quellos is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, and has offices in New York, London and Durham, North Carolina. In June BlackRock and Quellos concluded an agreement under which BlackRock is to acquire the alternative manager's fund of hedge funds business.

Upon closing, which is expected to be completed early next month, Quellos's investment management will be combined with BlackRock's existing absolute return and private equity fund of funds business. The combined operation will operate under the name BlackRock Alternative Advisors and the two firms' Hong Kong operations are to be merged.


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