Lionhart Investments, the $600 million global multi-strategy arbitrage hedge fund, has announced that it has hired Simon Quirke as its Asian markets trader and Asian product specialist. His arrival coincides with the opening of a Singapore office, where he will be based.

He will report to Barry McQuain who runs Lionhart in Asia and is also in charge of risk management, technology and research. The firm was founded in 1993 by its current London-based CEO Terry Duffy. Its flagship fund is the Lionhart Global Appreciation Fund, which runs equity-linked arbitrage strategies with an investment objective targeted at Libor + 7%.

Quirke was formerly director of Asian sales and trading at Lehman Brothers. Before that, he served as a vice president at CSFB, also on the sales and trading desk.

The new hire comes after the group suffered the loss of key personnel for Asia-related business. In October, the investment team of the $170 million Lionhart Asia Master Fund, including Alastair Altham, Richard Howarth, Alastair Lloyd and the Hong Kong office head Robert Vergara, spun away from Lionhart to fly solo. They kept the fund, its service providers and its investor base intact, and renamed it the Cannizaro Asia Master Fund. Lionhart remains an investor in it.

As part of its revamp, Lionhart is establishing new corporate vehicles: Lionhart Asia Pte is being incorporated in Singapore, and Lionhart Asia Ltd in Hong Kong. Both offices will build teams organically in the next few months. Their Asia-focused investments will use a cross-asset, multi-strategy arbitrage approach, and investment roadshows are slated to start in the early part of 2007.