UK fund house Hermes Investment Management has announced a newly-created sales and servicing appointment in Singapore as it strives to expand its regional penetration.

The firm, which had $46.9 billion in assets under management as of June 30, has hired Brian Sng as business development manager. He will report directly to Jakob Nilsson, head of business development for Asia Pacific.

Sng will be tasked with driving new business from institutional and wholesale clients in Asia in a bid to increase third-party assets.

“With strong demand in Asia for products that generate sustainable alpha responsibly, it is the opportune time for [Sng] to join the team,” Nilsson said in a statement.

Last month AsianInvestor reported that Hermes was soft-closing its Asia (ex-Japan) equity fund at $2.5 billion after attracting strong interest chiefly from discretionary platforms in the UK and Europe.

Sng formerly served for almost three years as a client relations associate at M&G Investments Asia, dealing with intermediaries in Singapore and Hong Kong. Prior to that he spent a year on an M&G rotational training programme with a focus on distribution and sales based in London.

Hermes used to have Ian Manton-Hall as a director based in Australia but he left the firm late last year. A Hermes spokesperson said that Manton-Hall was still working for Hermes in an independent capacity.

In a previous interview with AsianInvestor, Eoin Murray, head of Hermes’ investment office in London, confirmed that Japan was the one obvious place where the firm did not have a current investment offering in Asia.

While it covers emerging market equities, it also does not offer emerging market debt. Murray suggested the firm would continue to leverage off of its existing London-based credit team but could look to add EM debt capability over the next two years.

Asked if Hermes might consider basing investment specialists in the region to support its expansion drive, Murray said it was unlikely in the near term.

“I can see us keeping all of our investment specialists here in London for the time being, although we could be flexible if the right opportunity came up,” he said.