Sinopia Asset Management has named Alfred Yip CEO for Asia-Pacific. Yip, who is CIO of HSBC Insurance in Asia-Pacific, will be heading Sinopia at a time when it is aggressively strengthening its presence in Asia. Sinopia is the quantitative specialist of HSBC Global Asset Management.

In his new role, which he assumes on October 1, Yip will oversee SinopiaÆs development throughout the region, in collaboration with its other offices in the region and HSBC Global Asset Management. He will report to Pierre Sequier, the Paris-based global CEO and CIO at Sinopia, and Rudolf Apenbrink, Hong Kong-based CEO for Asia-Pacific at HSBC Global Asset Management.

YipÆs experience with both HSBC and Sinopia will serve as an advantage in the areas of business development and enhancing investment capabilities, Sequier says. SinopiaÆs goal is to develop a wide range of quantitative investment strategies and deliver strong portfolio performance while at the same time broadening its investor base in the region.

Yip, who is based in Hong Kong, has ôa very strong technical background, knows SinopiaÆs strategies very well, and will be able to consolidate and expand those investment capabilitiesö, especially as the firm pushes to expand its competitive strategies on Asian fixed income and equities, Sequier says.

On the business side, Sequier says YipÆs experience in working with institutions at HSBC Insurance gives him a ôvery good understandingö of the needs of the client segment that Sinopia hopes to continue to attract into its fold.

ôThat clearly will help us to design and adapt our skills to make sure that we meet the needs of institutional investors in the region,ö Sequier says.

Yip previously held various positions with HSBC Global Asset Management and Sinopia Asset Management Asia-Pacific for a period of 13 years. At Sinopia, Yip headed the Hong Kong investment team and took further responsibilities as managing director in March 2003.

Yip will take over from Patrice Conxicoeur, who moved on as head of institutional business for Asia-Pacific at HSBC Global Asset Management at the start of this month. Conxicoeur, in turn, took over from Au King-lun, who is now CEO of the Hong Kong operations of global fund of hedge funds group Financial Risk Management.

Meanwhile, in July, Sinopia quietly relocated Benedicte Mougeot û a Japanese equities specialist and the portfolio manager of the HSBC GIF Japanese Equity Fund û from Paris to Hong Kong. Transferring the management of Japanese equities funds to Hong Kong is the first step in SinopiaÆs plan to enhance its quantitative capabilities in Asian assets. Mougeot û who is now the head of equities in Asia for Sinopia û is still focusing on Japan at the moment but with the intent of broadening her focus region-wide.

Mougeot is responsible for the Asia ex-Japan quantitative fund that Sinopia will be managing under the HSBC brand. The fund, which is still in the planning stages, is expected to be launched in the fourth quarter of this year or the first quarter of 2009.

At present, SinopiaÆs investment capabilities in Asia are concentrated in Hong Kong. Elsewhere in the region, particularly in Japan and Taiwan, the firm has product specialists who facilitate the connection between clients and sales people. Sinopia has a mix of institutional, high-net-worth, and retail clients in 11 markets in Asia.

So far, SinopiaÆs business is strongest in Hong Kong û its main market û and Japan and Taiwan. Apenbrink credits SinopiaÆs success in Japan and Taiwan to a decision to invest in a stronger sales force in those two markets and to having the right thematic funds at the right time.

Through relocation and new hirings, Sinopia has doubled its investment team (now headed by Mougeot) in Hong Kong from five to 10 and it has increased the number of its product specialists in Asia from 10 to 15.

Over the years, Sinopia has been able to expand its strategies on equities and fixed income portfolios in Asia. Lately, it has been more successful with products related to bonds, particularly global bonds and inflation-linked bonds, in keeping with the increasingly popular investment theme.

ôInflation-linked bonds are a global theme that has worked very well this year and we can understand why,ö Sequier says. ôBut we have to be quite cautious and therefore not to take too many risks.ö

In June, HSBC Global Asset Management launched the HSBC Emerging Markets Inflation-Linked Bond Fund managed by Sinopia. That fund û which was the first emerging markets fund that invests in inflation-linked bonds û raised a total of $500 million from investors, including $100 million from Asia.

HSBC Global Asset Management has four specialist investment businesses. Apart from Sinopia, it also has Halbis, Multimanager and Liquidity. HSBC Global Asset Management û which has offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei, Tokyo and Mumbai, as well as a fund management joint venture in Shanghai û manages around $395 billion in assets. Sinopia has an AUM of around $40.3 billion.