HSBC Global Asset Management has appointed James Hughes as head of multimanager for Asia-Pacific, effective September 1.

Hughes will relocate to Hong Kong from London to take up this role while maintaining his current position as global head of business development for multimanager. He will be responsible for developing the firmÆs multimanager strategy and product offering in Asia and globally.

He will report directly to Rudolf Apenbrink, HSBC Global Asset ManagementÆs CEO for Asia-Pacific, and functionally to Joanna Munro, CEO of HSBC Multimanager in London.

Having a global head based in Hong Kong is expected to contribute significantly to the strengthening of the fund houseÆs multimanager business in Asia, says Apenbrink, adding Hughes has 10 years of experience in the multimanager space and has a strong manager research capability. Hughes replaces Nerida Law, who joined HSBC as multimanager head for Asia-Pacific in January last year (from Mercer Investments in Australia) and left in July. Law has so far not surfaced in a multimanager role elsewhere in Asia and HSBC Global Asset Management says it is unaware of her plans.

ôMultimanager is one of the fastest growing investment trends, particularly in Asia where assets are expected to grow significantly from $1.5 trillion to $8 trillion in the next five years,ö says Apenbrink, elaborating on the potential of the business.

Multimanager is one of the four investment specialists of HSBC Global Asset Management. HSBC Multimanager has one of the largest manager research teams in the world, with around 50 investment professionals based in 11 locations across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. It has over $33 billion in multimanager assets under management and another $40 billion under advice as of end-June.

In Asia, HSBC Global Asset Management has multimanager teams covering Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and India. Hughes plans to expand the fund houseÆs reach in the multimanager space to leading institutions and develop more innovative products for investors in the region.

Hughes joined HSBC Global Asset Management in March 2006 û when the fund house was still called HSBC Investments û as head of multimanager for the United Kingdom and the Middle East. Based in London, Hughes was responsible for all research and portfolio management in the region. He was appointed global head of business development for multimanager in September 2007.

Prior to joining HSBC, Hughes was a senior portfolio manager at AXA Multimanager, where he was responsible for the management of UK portfolios and UK equity, global equity and alternatives research. He started his career at Watson Wyatt Partners as a research analyst. From there, he went on to Christows Portfolio Managers as head of manager research, focusing on fund and manager selection for the firmÆs private client department and managed portfolio service.