James Newman is leaving Citigroup Asset Management to join Hong Kong-based hedge fund Doric Capital, where he starts next month.

"With assets under management above $120 million, we were in a comfortable position to look at resourcing to add seasoned investment veterans," says Michael Nock, director at Doric. "Jay will be part of a team working with Howard Wong and me. We are also looking to add another analyst." Wong is the firm's CIO, joining from Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette in New York and Hong Kong.

Newman was senior portfolio manager at Citi, with responsibility for managing all Asia-based institutional global balanced portfolios, including for Mandatory Provident Fund clients. He was previously with Salomon Brothers' fund management arm before Citibank and Travellers merged, and before that ran sales in Hong Kong for US broker Jeffries & Co.

Newman had reported to Anthony Muh, regional CIO at Citigroup Asset Management. Muh didn't return calls but a Citi spokeswoman says Newman's replacement has yet to be determined.

Nock says a mutual friend had introduced him to Newman a year ago, and they had found their investment philosophies to match. "We discovered we share a lot of way sat how we look at investing," Nock says, noting Doric was founded as a 'Warren Buffett meets Larry Hite' [a founder of Man Investments] strategy, combining Buffett's understanding of a business and its value with the risk management discipline created by Hite, for whom Nock once worked.

Doric's first fund was launched in 2000 as a long-only absolute return vehicle but was restructured in 2001 as a hedge fund with Deutsche Bank as prime broker, and now pursues an Asian long/short equities strategy. It won AsianInvestor magazine's Asia long/short hedge fund strategy of the year award for 2003.