MFC Global Investment Management (Asia) has strengthened its Asia equity team by hiring two new fund managers û Colin Ng and Morten Frederiksen û and two equity analysts û Marica Pretorius and Lorraine Kuo. All four are based in Hong Kong and report to regional head of equities Tahnoon Pasha.

Ng assumes the role of head of Asia-Pacific equities, while Frederiksen has been named an executive director for Asia-Pacific equities. Ng replaces Manish Bhatia, who joined Schroder Investment Management in Hong Kong as a senior fund manager of its Asia ex-Japan investment team in October last year.

Michael Dommermuth, head of Asia investments at MFC Global, the asset management division of Manulife Financial, says the fund house is bucking the industry trend of cutting back on staffing to better capture the firmÆs potential for growth in the region.

MFC Global has had a relatively lean team in Asia and the additions to its regional equity team builds on the appointments of Matthew Lee and Terrace Chum to its Greater China desk in 2008.

Together, the Asia-Pacific ex-Japan equities team at MFC Global work in tandem with the fund houseÆs equity teams based locally in nine countries throughout Asia.

Ng has over 15 years of experience in the fund management industry. Before joining MFC Global, he was head of Asia ex-Japan equities at UOB Asset Management in Singapore and was also a member of the executive management team. In that role, he led a team successfully managing a range of mandates including core Asia ex-Japan equity strategies, Greater China mandates, Asia ex-Japan small-mid caps, and Asia-Pacific unit trusts.

Frederiksen joins from Maple-Brown Abbot Investment Managers in Sydney, where he was an investment analyst and portfolio manager covering Asia ex-Japan equities. He has over 10 years experience of working on Asia-Pacific portfolios, including time working in Europe with Scottish Widows Investment Partnership and AEGON Asset Management.

Kuo joins from Deutsche Securities Asia in Taiwan where she was an equity research associate. Kuo has over 10 years of research experience having worked previously for Credit Lyonnais and Bank Sinopac in Taiwan. She will provide analytical support to Morten and Colin on the Korean and Taiwanese markets. Her prior work with cyclical sectors provides an excellent background for her coverage of these markets.

Pretorius joins from UBS AG Asia in Hong Kong where she was a senior quantitative analyst. She has over 14 years of quantitative analysis experience having worked previously for UBS Securities as a quantitative and risk analyst in South Africa, for National Mutual and Alexander Forbes Asset Consulting. She will support both the Asia-Pacific and Greater China equity desks in Hong Kong, as well as provide quantitative analysis and statistical research support to MFC GlobalÆs portfolio managers around the region.