Alex Edwards, previously chief compliance officer at Franklin Templeton in Hong Kong and London, has joined a funds placement agent, CP Eaton Partners, in Shanghai as vice-president. Although his latest role was in London, he has 10 years of financial experience in Asia-Pacific, including his native Australia.

CP Eaton raises funds from limited partners û institutional investors, family offices, funds of funds û and places these into alternative investments, including hedge funds, private-equity funds, buyout strategies, real estate funds and infrastructure funds. Since its founding in America in 1983 it has placed around $31 billion of assets across 55 products. It is independent of other financial groups.

The firm opened a Shanghai office in late 2007 to develop relations with regional institutions and other potential clients, as well as to research Asia-based fund products that it could place (as general partners, in its parlance). Ed Greene is the managing director in Shanghai.

Edwards says the firmÆs biggest limited partners in the region are to be found in Australia, Japan, Singapore and China. Bai Jingjing has been responsible for building this business; she will now concentrate on North Asia. Edwards has been hired to develop business in Australia, New Zealand, India and Southeast Asia û although Australia will be the biggest focus, followed by Singapore, he says. Both he and Bai report to Ed Greene.

Asian institutions are talking with CP Eaton about a broad range of investment opportunities, he says, with no discernable, universal preference for a particular strategy.

Edwards acknowledges that the environment for raising new capital is difficult. Most Asian investors have become overweight alternative exposures because the valuation of their long-only allocations has fallen precipitously. He expects investors will begin to rebalance in the coming months, which could see them revalue and adjust their alternative exposures û which in some cases will include new types of exposures.