Hong Kong-based Quam Asset Management has hired Richard Harris as its new chief executive.

He will be responsible primarily for its $50 million Greater China long/short strategy, Quam Greater China Fund and will be seeking to grow the size of the fund while retaining performance.

He will manage the portfolio along with Edward Wong, who has had day-to-day responsibility for the fund since its inception five years ago. He will report to the chairman of the Quam Group, Bernard Pouillot.

Harris was formerly chief executive of Port Shelter Investment Company, a consulting firm which worked for Hong Kong’s SFC, among other clients. His track record also includes stints as CEO of Jardine Fleming’s Private Bank (now within JP Morgan) and at Citigroup Private Bank. Harris claims to have played competitive rugby for 47 consecutive seasons.

“Hedge funds in emerging markets are principally a beta play,” says Harris. “The overwhelming contribution to performance is beta and Asian market outperformance. The hedge fund serves to reduce volatility and mitigate losses.”

Quam Asset Management has recently established a Middle East Fund, which started with $10 million in assets and is long only. Quam is also thinking about hiring an African team to set up a Quam African Fund at some future time. Further they are considering fund ideas in Mongolia, and in the oil and clean-tech sectors.