Sandra Lee has departed the Hong Kong operations of $23 billion hedge fund Paulson & Co to join The Carlyle Group as managing director of investor relations for Asia-Pacific, AsianInvestor can confirm.

Lee, who had served as senior vice-president in investor relations at Paulson & Co, left the hedge fund earlier this year.

A Carlyle spokesman confirmed that Lee had recently taken on a newly created position at the private equity firm’s Hong Kong office.

It is not yet clear whether Paulson & Co has appointed a replacement for Lee, who joined in 2008 from Morgan Stanley.

Last year, Paulson & Co – under the name Paulson Asia – was granted a Type 1 licence from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission to deal in securities.

According to regulatory filings, former Morgan Stanley executives Deng Xiaoli and Winnie Wong were the respective responsible officer and representative of Paulson Asia.

While US-based Paulson & Co has never publicly announced its plans in Asia, it has portfolio holdings in the region – with perhaps its most notorious being that of Chinese forestry company Sino-Forest. As its biggest shareholder, the hedge fund reportedly incurred a $468 million loss when it sold its entire stake in 2011, following allegations that Sino-Forest overstated its timber holdings. The Chinese company has refuted the claims.  

Prior to the Sino-Forest fiasco, Paulson & Co’s most famous portfolio bet was a substantial short position in US subprime mortgage-backed securities, which reaped $3.5 billion after the collapse of the subprime market in 2007.