Massachusetts-based Affiliated Managers Group (AMG) has appointed Andrew Dyson in a newly created position as executive vice-president and head of global distribution.

Based in London, he joins from BlackRock where he most recently served as head of the global institutional client business following the firm’s merger with Barclays Global Investors. He now reports to Nathaniel Dalton, AMG’s president and chief operating officer.

AMG, which holds stakes in boutique investment firms worldwide and has $340 billion in AUM, has targeted growth in Asia and in January this year opened an office in Hong Kong’s International Commerce Centre. That office comprises James Sim, managing director and head of Asia, and office manager Rowena Pang.

On a previous visit to Hong Kong last September, Sean Healy, AMG’s chairman and CEO, told AsianInvestor that the firm sees China as the biggest opportunity from a wholesale perspective.

Subsequently, Hong Kong-based hedge fund Value Partners signed a partnership with AMG to work on joint product development and strategic distribution opportunities.

The company has offices in Australia, Europe and the Middle East, while half of its investors are non US-based. Its Asia-Pacific business is largely institutional.

A spokesman for the firm tells AsianInvestor: "While several of our affiliates maintain a presence in the [Asia] region, we continue to focus on expanding the existing product set available to institutional investors."

AMG’s affiliates are boutique investment firms across investment products, notably in global and emerging markets equity and alternative strategies.

The company says it continues to invest in new affiliates around the world, including those firms that specialise in a range of investment strategies, from traditional to alternative.

AMG has reduced its exposure to developed market equities to 29% (from 35% in September 2010) and increased it to 12% for emerging market equities (from 10%). It has a 30% exposure to alternative investments and just 1% to fixed income.

In a statement, Dyson is also quoted predicting strong growth for AMG through its existing operations and through new markets “as clients increasingly prefer to seek return-oriented strategies from specialist boutiques whose interests are aligned with theirs”.

Dyson has worked at BlackRock and Merrill Lynch Investment Managers in senior distribution positions, including head of international institutional business and head of institutional business for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific.

Prior to Merrill Lynch, he was a partner at William M. Mercer, where his roles included head of US multinational investment consulting and head of UK pension fund investment consulting.