Brooke Capital, a Hong Kong-based manager of long/short equities in the Asia Pacific, will hard-close its East of Suez Fund at $800 million in December.

Its managing director, Jonathan Brooke, announced this in a letter to the firmÆs investors earlier this week.

The firm started operations in December 2002 with around $1.3 million. The East of Suez Fund has posted average annualised returns of 29.42% and, as of 28 September, was up 33% year-to-date. The current fund size is around $630 million, following a æsoft closeÆ imposed last July.

Since the soft close, Brooke says the firm has made major upgrades in its business infrastructure. It recently hired a COO, Tom Royds, from ABN AmroÆs brokerage as well as an IT professional, Carina Au, who work alongside the firmsÆ CFO, Annie Fung.

Brooke Capital also appointed a second prime broker, UBS, alongside existing provider Goldman Sachs. It has also overhauled its technology, introducing a new portfolio management system called Tradar.

As the AUM grew, the fundÆs executives had to consider how best to continue the firmÆs goals of take advantage of the regionÆs growth opportunities while preserving capital during periods of turbulence. The hard close target size includes additional investments by principles of the fund and its employees, as well as potential investments by organisations now conducting due diligence.

ôWe are confident over time we can manage more than this,ö writes Jonathan Brooke, ôbut in keeping with our style since inception, we donÆt want to grow too fast.ö

Jonathan Brooke founded the firm after joining hedge fund Wharton Investment Advisors. He began his career at Credit Suisse Asset Management in London, where he ran portfolios of Asia ex-Japan equities. The East of Suez Fund includes investments in Japan and Australia, and in theory can invest all the way...well, all the way to the Suez Canal, although the furthest west it has gone to date is Pakistan.

Correction: The original version of this story wrongly stated that Wharton Investment Advisors had closed. It has always remained open and active. We apologize for the error.