UK-based Forsyth Partners has opened a marketing office in Hong Kong and is awaiting regulatory approval to introduce its fund research services to the Asian market. The office, run by Guy Medcraft, may also offer some of the firm's fund of funds products to local investors.

The growth of wealth management services at banks in Asia prompted the firm to set up the four-man team in Hong Kong. It will target distributors in Hong Kong and Singapore, and perhaps expand to Taiwan later this year.

Forsyth's website bills its fund research capabilities as more penetrating than those provided by incumbents such as Reuters Lipper or Standard & Poor's. Its selling point is its independence: while its competitors are paid by fund management companies for a rating, Forsyth earns revenue from distributors such as private banks and commercial banks.

The website boasts: "The emphasis that we place on qualitative analysis, as opposed to simply looking at statistics provided by data services such as S&P Micropal and Reuters Lipper, is a further distinguishing factor. We aim to be predictive and do not want to be seen as focusing on historical events."

Forsyth researches funds registered in all jurisdictions bar the United States, including hedge funds. It has nine long-only fund of funds which it may register in Hong Kong, and is in the process of launching its first Asia-focused multi-manager strategy. Although it also has four funds of hedge funds, the company has no plans to introduce them to Asia now. The firm manages around $2.6 billion of prop money, funds of funds and managed accounts in the UK.