Capital International, a unit of the $814 billion fund-management behemoth Capital Group, has hired Andrew Budden in Singapore and Theresa Leung in Hong Kong as investment specialist and investment analyst, respectively.

Budden has just resigned from Watson Wyatt, where he had run its Southeast Asian investment consulting practice, and will start work at Capital the first week of April. His role as investment specialist is a new one. The firm maintains a handful of these positions in the United States and Europe, and this is the first time it will utilize an investment specialist in Asia. The role is to represent the portfolio managers, and describe what is going on in the portfolios to clients, prospects and consultants.

Leung had been senior portfolio manager at Invesco from 1997-2003, running the firm's Far East ex-Japan institutional portfolio. She resigned in late 2002 but stayed on until spring of last year, after which point she decided to take a break. Prior to her time at Invesco she had also worked at Baring Asset Management.

Two hires represent a burst of activity for a firm that is known to take a long time to add staff; its flat organization requires all members of a team approve a new hire. Leung is being hired as an analyst, but all analysts participate in managing the portfolios.

According to Capital Group, it manages $201 billion of institutional money in its Asian and US offices, and $81 billion of institutional money out of London and Geneva. It also manages $532 billion of individual funds globally, most through its mutual funds subsidiary, American Funds.

Capital International now has over 160 associates in Asia ex-Japan, including nearly 70 investment professionals. Its clients include the Asian Development Bank, Singapore's Government Investment Corporation, Hong Kong's Hospital Authority Provident Fund and insurers such as Great Eastern Life and NTUC Income.