Diccon Martin has left New Star Asset Management after five years of service. According to an email message sent to industry contacts, he plans to take up another job in Hong KongÆs investment industry in September. His contract expires at the end of August but he left the Hong Kong office in July.

Martin is the second senior departure from New StarÆs Hong Kong office, after James Campion, formerly head of retail for Schroders in Hong Kong, left earlier this year.

Philip Goldsmith, managing director in the United Kingdom, says Martin left because, like Campion, his background was retail, specialising in wholesale distribution to independent financial advisors and the like.

New Star has for the past year oriented its Hong Kong business away from retail to focus solely on institutional business, Goldsmith says. That includes selling its investment expertise to insurance companies, funds of funds, family offices and private banks.

ôOutside of the UK, our strategy is institutional,ö Goldsmith says, noting the Hong Kong business model is now in line with what the firm does in continental Europe. New Star, which has a total of $34 billion under management, has both institutional and retail business in the UK. New Star began business out of the UK six years ago under John Duffield, formerly of Jupiter Asset Management.

Goldsmith says an institutional business doesnÆt require as many people as a retail one, so Martin wonÆt be replaced. Louis Poon will be the most senior person in the Hong Kong office, as direct of sales, a position heÆs held for over two years.