Simon Rigby is transferring to the Middle East after nearly eight years in Hong KongÆs asset management world.

The managing director at Lloyd George Asset Management is in the process of establishing himself in the Gulf region to develop the firmÆs clientele in the Middle East.

Dubai is the obvious centre but Rigby and his family enjoy nearby Muscat, Oman, and may see if that is also a viable choice. He will be working out of London for the time being but expects to be settled in the Middle East by September.

Rigby joined Schroder Investment Managers in 1991 in London. He moved to Hong Kong in 1998 to serve as managing director for North Asia, until 2003, at which point he joined Lloyd George AM. He also did business development work for Mirabaud, a private bank, which owns 5% of Lloyd George AM. He reported to William Carr, Lloyd George AMÆs regional MD in Hong Kong.

Since joining the firm, a boutique equities manager with an Asian focus, globally sourced assets under management have soared from $2 billion to $15 billion. Much of that comes from the United States and Europe, but the firm has also expanded its Asia clientele. When Rigby joined it had a sole client in Singapore. Now it also has clients in Australia, Hong Kong and Japan.

He began visiting the Middle East three years ago. The firm has ôone or twoö clients there but Rigby sees potential, particularly among a new generation of Western-educated professionals running many financial institutions. So he is removing himself from East Asia and will report into the firmÆs London headquarters.

Amanda Whitmore Snow, who has been servicing clients in Hong Kong, will assume some of RigbyÆs activities. Australia has its own team and Japan is serviced from London. With an established Asia client list, the firm doesnÆt intend to hire additional people to replace Rigby. Snow will now report directly to William Carr.