Elizabeth Soon, most recently a director at Schroder Investment Management reporting to Tina So, will join in January to run the firm's Asia ex-Japan equities investments. Currently Standard Life has nine investment pros covering Asia, split between Edinburgh and Hong Kong. The Scottish team is in the process of migrating fully to Hong Kong.

Soon, who had worked at Schroders for nine years, replaces Ronnie Petrie in Edinburgh, who declined the offer to relocate to Asia, but is transferring with the firm to Boston to help establish a new presence in the United States.

Meanwhile James Cooper is joining in mid-December from State Street Global Advisors, where he headed marketing in Seoul. Cooper will relocate to Hong Kong as one of four client relations managers reporting to Mark Bennett, regional head of business development. Cooper's role will be regional but his main focus will be establishing Standard Life's presence in Korea and opening a sales office next year.

Cooper's hire follows that of Miranda Poon from Dresdner RCM Global Investors in September. Poon heads up business development for Hong Kong institutions. Richard Wang, another new hire, is working to get approval in Beijing to open a rep office there, while the fourth client manager has been hired but has yet to be announced, says Smith.

Standard Life opened its Hong Kong office in February this year.