Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners has transferred Gong Jie from the United States to Hong Kong to open an office in Asia.

AIP, formed in 2000 in Philadelphia, is the fund-of-funds division of Morgan Stanley Investment Management. It has three businesses: private-equity funds, hedge funds and real-estate funds. Gong will cover the Asian business for funds of private-equity funds. Asian investments in the other two asset classes will continue to be handled from America.

Gong is working with one other investment professional already on the ground, whom the firm declined to name. She will continue to report to the AIP division, based near Philadelphia.

Until now, AIP sourced Asian investments from the US. The firm now manages $7 billion in FoPE funds, and as the asset size rises, so does the amount being invested into Asian-based private-equity fund managers; the number of these in the region also has reached a sufficient size to warrant setting up a local office. It already has an office in London.

GongÆs responsibilities are to first assess interesting private-equity investment stories in the region, and second to identify the best managers positioned to execute them. She will look for opportunities in fund investments, co-investments and secondary investments.

Gong joined Morgan Stanley AIP as a vice-president in the US in early 2007, after previously working for JPMorgan in Hong Kong, London and New York. She has also worked at the International Financial Corporation, the private-sector arm of the World Bank, in Washington, DC.