Hedge fund manager NewSmith, headed by Merrill Lynch veteran Michael Marks, is to revamp its business in Asia in order to generate æeconomies of scaleÆ.

The firm is represented in Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo. Under the changes, the Hong Kong office in Ruttonjee House, Central, will be closed and its responsibilities reassigned to the Singapore office. The Tokyo office, run by Jun Miyazaki, will remain unchanged and Jun Yamamoto will carry on as chief portfolio manager there.

A new management team is being appointed to manage the Asian book from Singapore. Those new hires have not been identified publicly, but have been disclosed to investors. They will handle the NewSmith Asia Absolute Fund, which is understood to be between $100 million and $500 million in size, though the exact assets under management remain a secret.

NewSmithÆs Asian equity team had been based in Hong Kong and was led by Low Seow Che, formerly of JF Asset Management, and Chua Wan Hoon, formerly of Arisaig Partners. While offers to relocate had reportedly been made, these two senior managers, along with other Hong Kong staff will not be moving to Singapore and their future plans are unknown.