Lazard Asset Management has named Henry Choon as managing director for business development and marketing for Asia ex-Japan.

Choon will lead the opening of a Hong Kong office as the firm continues to expand its Asian asset management business. He will work closely with Robert Prugue, a senior managing director and head of Asia-Pacific for Lazard Asset Management.

Lazard Asset Management does not have an Asian headquarters. Prugue, who heads the region from Sydney, divides his time between all of the companyÆs offices in Asia.

The Hong Kong office will mark the firm's fourth asset management office in Asia. Lazard Asset Management currently operates from Seoul, Tokyo and Sydney, in addition to its offices in Europe and North America. The firm has recently applied for a license to operate in Hong Kong with the Securities and Futures Commission.

ôThis is a key hire for Lazard Asset Management, and reinforces our commitment to our clients in Asia and the Asia-Pacific region," says Prugue.

The majority of Lazard Asset Management's business worldwide is institutional.

Choon will introduce Lazard Asset ManagementÆs global and regional strategies to Asia-based professional investors, including pension funds, central banks, sovereign wealth funds and financial institutions. He joins the firm from Lehman Brothers Investment Management where he was head of North Asia institutional business, and was responsible for establishing LehmanÆs presence in Hong Kong and building distribution relationships with clients. He has over 15 years experience in the funds management business in Asia.

Lazard Asset Management, a subsidiary of financial advisory firm Lazard Limited, offers a range of equity, fixed-income, and alternative investment products and solutions for clients worldwide. Lazard Asset Management and its affiliated asset management companies in the Lazard Group manage around $141 billion worth of client assets. The Asia-Pacific region represents 12% of total AUM.