David Kao will joins H&Q Asia Pacific (H&QAP) on September 1 from Merrill Lynch where he was previously a director in corporate finance covering Taiwan. Kao had been at Merrill since 1997. He has also worked at Nat West, UBS and Bear Stearns. At H&QAP he will become the managing director of the firm's Greater China operations.

Speaking to FinanceAsia.com, Kao said that he had always wanted to go over to the principal side at some stage in his career and despite present market misery, he feels now is a good time to be a venture capitalist. "I look at the landscape here in Asia and there is still a lot of restructuring and changing going on," he says. "Coupled with that, it is always good to buy low and sell high so now is the right time to be making investments."

H&QAP will be looking for companies in the technology and telecom fields which have strong managements and have large requirements of capital. Kao reveals that the fund is looking to make investments of between $30 million and $50 million, although it will also look at opportunities outside that range. The firm is also interested in the financial services and traditional manufacturing sectors that will benefit from ongoing rationalization and government led restructuring.

Also joining H&QAP is Paul Adkins, who will be managing director of H&Q Asia Pacific's Tokyo office. His main responsibilities will be formulating, sourcing, analyzing and developing investments for the firm's Japan Technology Fund - a $200 million fund that has only recently closed. Adkins joins H&QAP from the technology industry, most recently being general manager of Openwave System's Asia Pacific operations and before that as a director at Oracle.

H&Q Asia Pacific is a venture capital firm started in 1985 as a joint venture between then Hambrecht & Quist and Dr Ta-lin Hsu. The firm now has 17 funds and $1.8 billion in committed capital. Although it is based in Silicon Valley, H&Q Asia Pacific, invests in Asian technology companies with a particular focus on Taiwan and North Asia. Kao believes that its longevity in the region, its ability to raise funds and its contacts are the key drivers to its success. The firm has been an investor in such success stories as Acer, Macronix and Access - the company that developed the web-browser for NTT Docomo's i-Mode system.