Baring Asset Management has strengthened its investment team in Hong Kong with the hire of Colin Ng, following recent comments by global chief investment officer Marino Valensise that it would raise its Asia-Pacific headcount this year.

Ng joins in the newly created post of head of Asian equities, having previously served in the same role at MFC Global Investment Management, the asset management arm of Canada's Manulife Financial. Having left that firm in November, he now reports to Henry Chan, Barings' head of Asia-Pacific investment. Ng is responsible for the range of regional Asian and single country funds excluding those focused on China.

Before he joined MFC, Ng was head of Asia ex-Japan at UOB Asset Management in Singapore and lead manager on UOB AM's core Asia ex-Japan and Greater China mandates. He has over 15 years of experience in the fund management industry.

As AsianInvestor reported yesterday, MFC GIM has replaced Ng with Linda Csellak, formerly of Ballingal Investment Advisors in Hong Kong, where she managed a Pacific long-short strategy. She left that firm in March and studied Mandarin in China for several months before moving to MFC.

Tim Scholefield, head of equities at Barings, says: "Barings was one of the early asset management houses to open an office in Hong Kong way back in 1976. For over 30 years, Asian equities have been a core focus for us and continue to be so, with over $11 billion of Asian ex-Japan equities under management."

The firm has global AUM of $47 billion and derives most of its revenues from emerging markets.