Segantii Capital Management has appointed Nigel Hellewell, a former partner at UK-based hedge fund BlueCrest Capital Management, as chief operating officer.

Hellewell takes up the COO post that was vacated last year by Chuak Chan, who joined Australian alternatives fund incubator Ascalon Capital as head of its Hong Kong operation.

Chan’s former duties are understood to have been undertaken by existing executives in the interim as the hedge fund sought a level of COO expertise that was not easily available in Hong Kong.

Segantii is among Asia’s fastest-growing hedge funds and was one of the sector’s best performers in 2011, when it returned 41%.  

Hellewell is the latest addition to the Segantii team. The firm had already added eight staff by mid-year, including former Credit Suisse prime services executive Kirtes Bharti as head of financing.

Segantii, a Hong Kong-based multi-strategy fund, soft-closed at $620 million in June after seeing its assets more than double in one year.

Hellewell departed in June from BlueCrest after four years at the hedge fund, which is one of Europe's largest with $30 billion in AUM. It runs a series of strategies, including relative value, systematic trend-following, global macro and multi-strategy credit.

Segantii is understood to be strengthening its business infrastructure amid a swift growth in AUM and staff. Other Asian hedge funds have similarly tapped seasoned industry veterans as COOs to help address recent or anticipated growth.  

Earlier this year, Singapore-based Dymon Asia Macro Fund appointed as COO Jay Luo, the former head of Asia-Pacific operations for $14 billion hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors, after hard-closing at $2.5 billion. Meanwhile, start-up Wuzhu Asia Partners has as its COO Grant Suttie, a 16-year veteran of UK asset manager Martin Currie.