London-based Atlantis Investment Management has hired a global marketer for its Asia portfolios, underlining a recent jump in its assets under management as global investors get Asia fever.

James Alexander has filled a gap created by the departure of David McConnell, who had left the firm earlier this year to set up his own marketing consultancy. Alexander is the firm's first marketer with Asian experience, which Atlantis says is a rarity.

Alexander joins from Nomura International in London, where he created a maintained a UK-based Asian equity customer base. He also ran BZW's Thailand joint venture and, before that, was based in Hong Kong where he sold Southeast Asian stocks for WI Carr to local institutions. He also worked at Morgan Grenfell Asset Management, giving him a total of 14 years of experience selling Asian equities.

The firm hired now partly because the volume of its business is growing and it sees increasing opportunities to sell Asia to investors around the world. Its assets under management have jumped by $200 million to $850 million since the end of January, and it has launched a China fund managed by Yang Liu in Hong Kong.

"Investors are finally realizing that investing in Asia is paying dividends," says Peter Irving, CEO.

And Atlantis hired now because the downturn in the asset management industry has put good people on the street.