Anthony Moody, the man behind the rise of Zurich Scudder Investments' success in Asia before the US firm was acquired by Deutsche Bank, is now running his own business of micro-lending and private equity investing.

Moody remained in Hong Kong and is president and CEO of his own firm, Hermes & Hermes. He has put forward $100,000 of his own money into a fund that provides micro investments to people in Cambodia, Myanmar and the Philippines. Although modest compared to the tens of billions of dollars that Zurich Scudder ran or advised on in Japan and Asia, Moody is using his investment experience not only to make money but directly contribute to alleviating poverty in some of Asia's lowest income countries.

Hermes & Hermes is also involved in private equity in several of these countries, working in partnership with a mainland Chinese tycoon with a commitment to socially responsible investing, Moody says. He is also investigating private equity opportunities in North Korea.

"Burma, North Korea...all I need is a deal in Cuba," he quips, a jibe at US President George Bush's tendency to damn unfriendly nations.

Meanwhile he is acting as an ambassador for AsRIA, the Association for Responsible Investment in Asia, in markets such as Singapore and Malaysia, beating the drum for socially responsible investing.

Moody, who has lived in Asia for over a decade, was named Asia-Pacific regional managing director at Zurich Scudder Investments shortly before the firm was sold to Deutsche by parent Zurich Financial Services in 2001. He had also been part of the Zurich Scudder Investments management committee as well as chairman of Zurich Scudder Investments Japan. Before that he served at Continental Bank (later acquired by Bank of America) for 28 years in North America, the Caribbean, Japan and Hong Kong.

After serving on the transition committee for Deutsche Bank, he considered offers by Deutsche and several other global money managers, but decided he did not want to work for a large, political firm.

Although no longer in the big-time money management business, some things haven't changed: Moody remains one of Hong Kong's sharpest dressers.