Thames River Capital, a $6.3 billion asset manager focused on long and long/short absolute return strategies, has formed an alliance with Peak Capital, a Hong Kong-based hedge fund platform company formed by veteran Asian fund managers Simon Powell and Tim Kay. Under the arrangement Peak will provide marketing and servicing facilities for Thames Rivers' funds throughout the Asian region. Thames River represents Peak's first formal business mandate.

"We have known the guys at Thames River Capital for a long time and are thrilled to have entered this relationship. Thames River Capital is a big brand in Europe but relatively unknown in Asia. Given the quality of Thames River's performance and the fact that their fund range is littered with AA and AAA ratings from Standard & Poors, we see this as a great opportunity," says Powell.

Powell was most recently at Skandia Global Funds and Kay previously managed MSCI's Asian operations. The duo plan to draw on the relationships they have built up in Asia mong private banks, family offices and institutional investors to market Thames Rivers' products in the region.

Fueled by its European investor base, Thames River has enjoyed rapid AUM expansion in recent years, growing at over 80% in both 2003 and 2004. With the appointment of Peak as its representative on the ground in Asia, Thames River is now looking to actively target Asian investors.

"The fit is incredibly good. Peak's two principals are both long serving industry professionals who have significant knowledge and history with most of our senior fund managers. We had found it increasingly difficult to service investors properly from a different time zone and Peak provide an elegant solution to the problem," says Thames Rivers' CEO Charlie Porter.

Powell emphasizes that the marketing arrangement with Thames River is an exclusive one, and that Peak does not intend to position itself as a third party marketer for hedge funds in Asia.

"We intend to keep to our original plan for the business, which is to establish a professional hedge fund platform, providing marketing and operational facilities for talented independent managers in Asia. With the infrastructure now in place, we are focused on bringing the right managers on board. We are currently in advanced discussions with a few managers, and continue to screen others," he says.