Apex Capital in Hong Kong has rebranded as AD Capital Management, following co-founding portfolio manager Tat AuYeung’s recent move to take full control of the regional hedge fund operation, and as a final step in establishing itself as an independent entity from Apex in New York.

AuYeung is understood to have taken control of the Hong Kong operation recently as an independent and sole shareholder, marking the completion of its separation process from US-based Apex Capital Management.

Founded in 2004 as an Asia-focused long/short equity hedge fund shop with offices in New York and Hong Kong, Apex once ran about $900 million at its peak, with a reputation for providing strong performance over the long term.

The post-crisis era, however, saw a separation of the firm’s two offices in July 2010. Apex in New York took ownership of the Market Neutral Greater China and North Asia long/short equity strategies, which both closed earlier this year, although there are plans to relaunch them at a later time.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong entity took over sole management of the Greater China Directional Fund, and in August 2010 launched a China Opportunity Fund. These have been rebranded respectively as the AD Greater China Alpha Fund and AD China Opportunity Fund. The firm also runs the AD Greater China Alpha Fund – levered.

“AD refers to Anno Domini, the calendar era, which is a time when grace and abundance came to earth,” according to a spokeswoman for the firm. Its Cantonese name, Fung Sing, means ‘wealth filled to the brim.’

AD Capital has $23 million in assets under management, which includes an investment from AuYeung’s personal wealth, according to the firm’s spokeswoman.

AuYeung founded Apex’s regional office in 2004, joining from HSBC, where he had headed the trading desk in Hong Kong. He is the portfolio manager for AD Capital’s three funds, which are equity long/short strategies. The AD China Opportunity Fund is understood to have returned 11.28% in 2011, with the other two strategies yielding losses of less than 2%.

AuYeung plans to develop more funds “in lockstep with the continuing growth of the China market and global appetite for China-focused fund products”, says AD Capital’s spokeswoman.