US-based quantitative fund manager AQR Capital Management has opened an office in Hong Kong, its first in Asia, and appointed Matei Mihalca to head it. 

Having secured approval from Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission yesterday (July 7), the office expands AQR’s geographic footprint into Asia with a view to expanding and better servicing its regional clients. The firm's other international offices are in London and Sydney.

Mihalca, who had been overseeing Asia business development from AQR’s headquarters in Greenwich, Connecticut, has relocated to Hong Kong.

He reports to Gregor Andrade, principal and head of the international team, and will be supported by a junior executive. The firm plans to expand headcount further as the business grows. 

Before joining the fund manager in August last year, Mihalca was a portfolio manager at Goldman Sachs Asset Management in New York and has also worked in Hong Kong at Citic Capital and Merrill Lynch.

AQR manages both traditional and alternatives assets using a quantitative approach, mainly for institutional clients. As of March 31, the firm had $154 billion in assets under management, of which $23 billion is sourced from Asia Pacific, with Asia accounting for $7 billion.