Asian specialist hedge fund broker KE Absolute has appointed John Chung Lee as an associate director and head of alternative strategies. The announcement coincides with the firm's official launch of its tailored research for hedge funds.

Lee leads a team of four people providing bespoke research and investment ideas for alternative investors focusing on Asian markets. KE Absolute tailors its research to five trading styles of alternative investment managers: opportunistic, market neutral, arbitrage, relative value and event driven.

Lee joins KE Absolute from private investment managers Search Investment Group, the family office for the Millers of the United States. There he researched investment opportunities in the Asian region for private investment funds. He previously worked for Alca Capital Management and Deutsche Bank Securities in the United States.

Headquartered in Hong Kong, KE Absolute provides alternative investment managers with a range of hedge fund related services including idea-driven sales and research, specialist trade execution, and financial technology.

Through its association with Kim Eng Ong Holdings, the Singapore-based independent securities brokerage, KE Absolute also offers clients a presence in all significant Asian markets. The firm also maintains relationships with affiliates in Australia, Japan and Taiwan. Prominent among these is the Kim Eng tie up with Yuanta Securities in Taiwan.

"We don't talk much about research here, what we do is strategy creation. It's all about money making ideas," says Tom Ashworth, KE's managing director in Hong Kong.

While the firm has been producing material before now, Ashworth says the product is now fully developed, serving about 30 clients.