Monique Tse joined Eastspring Investments last month as head of intermediary sales for Hong Kong, continuing a trend for fund houses to beef up their Asia distribution teams.

Tse’s role is newly created and was previously covered by others in the sales team. She reports to Koh Hui-Jian, head of retail sales with responsibility for Hong Kong and Singapore and offshore distribution across the region.

Before this move, Tse was most recently director of business development at Legg Mason Global Asset Management in Hong Kong, where she focused on private banks. She left that post in July last year, but AsianInvestor could not ascertain what she did between then and her arrival at Eastspring.

Halina Chui replaced her at Legg Mason in December, having previously worked at BNP Paribas Investment Partners, Value Partners and HSBC Private Bank.

Tse had been with Legg Mason since October 2006, and had also worked at Franklin Templeton Investments and JF Asset Management, both in Hong Kong.

Her hire is the latest in a line of moves by asset managers seeking to strengthen their Asian distribution through retail and private banks, insurers and financial advisers.

JP Morgan Asset Management, Morgan Stanley Investment Management and State Street Global Advisors have all moved to build out their intermediary business in the region this year.

Moreover, firms such as BlackRock and Goldman Sachs Asset Management have been sharpening their focus on private banks in particular.

And some managers that have traditionally run institutional businesses in the region are moving aggressively into the retail market such as by registering more funds locally. They include Axa Investment Managers, Natixis Global Asset Management and Neuberger Berman .

However, they may find it increasingly tough to do so without a domestic investment presence, as local regulators are getting more stringent on approving offshore funds, as reported.