Robert Lloyd George, the founder, chairman and CEO of Lloyd George Asset Management and an 'old Asia hand' who had returned to the United Kingdom, is moving back to Hong Kong early next year.

The firm had been said by headhunters to be hunting for a regional managing director, partly because the current Hong Kong MD, Michael Carr, is slated to relocate to the UK in 2003. But it appears Mr Lloyd George will fill this role personally. He is expected to move in February or March.

He is coming back to the city that made his career. He arrived in Hong Kong in 1980, according to Carr, and from 1984 to 1991 he was the managing director at Indosuez Asset Management. In 1991 he quit, along with several colleagues including Carr, to set up his own firm by the fragrant harbour.

Lloyd George Asset Management began as an Asian small-cap equities specialist with $50 million of assets. It is now a $2 billion global emerging market equities boutique with offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Mumbai and London, handling discretionary accounts for American and European institutional investors.

Carr is responsible for the firm's administration, finance and compliance, a role he will continue, but he is moving to London where he wants to spend more time.