The Asian unit of funds consultancy Morningstar’s investment management subsidiary has appointed Manfred Wong as a portfolio specialist based in Hong Kong. He will serve as director of Morningstar Investment Management Asia and lead its IM teams in China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

The group, one of Morningstar’s 11 investment advisory units globally, provides solutions that utilise the group's asset allocation, manager research and portfolio construction capabilities. It offers retirement, advisory and portfolio management services for financial institutions, plan sponsors and advisers.

Nick Cheung, Asia CEO at Morningstar, praised Wong’s IM track record. Wong previously worked as an analyst sourcing and monitoring hedge fund investments for Mesirow Financial’s fund-of-hedge-funds business in Chicago.

Wong has also held senior roles at investment consultancy Mercer, Australian fund house AMP Capital and Australian bank Macquarie, with experience in manager due diligence and selection and portfolio management.

The hire is in line with Morningstar's plans set out 18 months ago by Joe Mansueto, founder and CEO of Morningstar, after it had received its IM licence in Hong Kong in May, 2014. He told AsianInvestor at the time that he wanted to see a capacity in Asia commensurate to that in Europe and the US. The aim, he had said, would be both to transfer staff from the US and hire locally in the region.

At the time, out of 110 manager research analysts globally (as of March 2014), there were 30-40 analysts in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and around 30 in Asia Pacific.

Morningstar IM had $170 billion in assets under advisory and management as at September 30 last year.