US hedge fund FrontPoint has hired Tom Monaco as an executive director to work as its bankÆs analyst within its $730 million Financial Services Fund.

He will be covering all Asian banking markets from Japan to India as well as high beta financial institution stocks in the States plus Puerto Rico, Hawaii and US niche banks. He has been hired in response to the growing opportunities in the Asian banking sector and his extensive track record of expertise in the local financial institution markets.

Starting out in the Federal Reserve, Monaco worked in the late nineties as a financial institutions equity analyst in Hong Kong for Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley. He joins FrontPoint from brokerage Sterne Agee & Leach, which is based in Birmingham, Alabama, where he was a senior vice president covering US banks.

He will be based in New York but plans to visit Asia several times per year. He will report to Steve Eisman, who is the portfolio manager for FrontPointÆs Financial Services Fund.

FrontPoint has approximately $5.5 billion in assets under management. The firm was acquired for an undisclosed price by Morgan Stanley in late 2006. FrontPoint is a platform based in Greenwich, Connecticut. In Hong Kong, its fund managers are executive director James Soutar along with Kenrick Leung, where they run the $400 million FrontPoint Asia-Pacific Fund together with a Greater China Long/short fund which was established in mid 2006.