Cigma Capital has launched in Hong Kong. Its founder is Barry Lau, formerly of French bank BNP Paribas, where he ran the managed-account platform business and was also head of fund derivatives.

Lau has been joined by Geoffrey Lam, who used to work as a director at Hong Kong securities broker Shenyin Wanguo Asset Management.

Cigma stands for 'China Investment Growth Managed Accounts'. Its strategy is to organise managed accounts for Chinese managers who operate on the mainland and are less well known to the investment community. The idea is that one can potentially trade in and out of the hundreds of China-based stock traders and fund managers whose names are basically unknown beyond China's borders.

The new firm has been seeded by three backers: AAStocks International, a financial information services provider; Hong Kong-based alternative investment firm Ajia Partners; and GSR Ventures, a $700 million venture-capital firm based in Beijing. It also has a strategic partnership with Gen2 KS Partners, an investment firm that specialises in fund-of-funds management.