Many of you will remember Clayton Coplestone, the amiable head of retail for Credit Suisse Asset Management Australia for the early part of this decade.

Clayton moved to Hong Kong with CSAM in 2003, charged with driving its Asian retail expansion, and as he remembered last month, spent “six days of most weeks” on the road setting up various distribution joint ventures.

Coplestone left CSAM in 2006 and spent about a year doing similar work for Deutsche Bank’s private client arm, before the pace caught up with him. “Hong Kong is like New York on steroids, my wife and I had a lot of fun, made a lot of money, but we have two small kids whom we wanted to be able to run around and get bee stings, breathe fresh air, do kids’ stuff, and Hong Kong is not the place for that.”

Unbalanced can confirm the bit about the money – we found out about Clayton leaving Deutsche after we noticed an ad for his Porsche in the on-line edition of the Hong Kong Trading Post. Now back breathing the relatively cleaner air of his native Auckland, the BDM says he won’t be returning to the big insto life, but he has set up his own business to help them get distribution.

In hindsight, Heathcote Investment Partners might have picked a different first client to sell to Kiwi investors – although Coplestone is confident that once Everest Babcock & Brown loses a certain part of its name, the quality of its underlying hedge funds-of-funds will shine through.

Coplestone will also be bringing one of New Zealand’s best-known equity managers to these shores, so look out for him around town in the months ahead.

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