Singapore-based Fairfield Straits Lion Asset Management has added a long/short Asian equities fund to its platform. The Fairfield Areca Asian Equity Fund is sub-advised by Millennia Investment Management, also based in Singapore.

Millennia was founded in May, 2004 by investment bankers with private equity experience, and claims a 31% return from inception to September 2005. Its managing director is Seah Kiat-Seng, who began the firm after serving as MD and investment committee member of Springboard-Harper Investment, a local venture-capital firm.

From 1990 to 1999 he worked at Morgan Stanley as a principal, helping build its Asian asset management business, and founding its regional real-estate securities investment business in 1998. He also directed Morgan Stanley's equity investment activities in Greater China and South Korea, and served as portfolio manager of the New York Stock Exchange-listed Malaysia Fund and Thai Fund, established under the auspices of the International Finance Corporation in the early 1990s.

The team's other principal is Ooi Joon-Hin, worked at Lehman Brothers' investment banking division from 1994 to 2002, in Hong Kong, Singapore and New York. He served as vice president of corporate finance execution for Southeast Asia and then was co-head and senior vice president of its Asia energy group.

The third team member is Herbert Hui, formerly a senior regional banking analyst at Deutsche Bank and CSFB.

This is the fourth fund that FSL has launched on its platform since August this year, following a China equity fund managed by Apex Capital, and the first advisor based in Singapore, says Tong Foo-Cheong, FSL's CEO.

The Fairfield Areca fund aims to achieve absolute returns with relatively low total-portfolio volatility or risk through investment in Asia-Pacific equities and equity-related instruments. Millennia will use equity hedged, pairs trades and Asian private placement strategies. Citco is the fund's administrator and KPMG its auditor.

FSL was created in 2004 as the dedicated hedge fund management and distribution platform as a JV between Fairfield Greenwich Group and Lion Capital Management, a JV between OCBC Asset Management and Straits Lion Asset Management.