Drew WilsonEight Investment Partners, the new Pan Asian equities boutique, has started business in earnest with the recruitment of two high-profile professionals.

Boon Hong-Yeo, the former head of Asian equities at Credit Suisse Asset Management, and Drew Wilson (pictured), the managing director of Australian equities specialist Atom Funds Management, have joined the new Sydney-based business.

Eight Investment Partners is the latest Australian firm backed by South African-based financial services group Sanlam. Kerry Series, one of the most experienced Asian equities managers in Australia, was announced as Eight’s CIO in November, when he was recruited away from his role as head of Pan Asian equities at AMP Capital Investors.

AMP Capital has subsequently restructured its equity operations along research lines.

Sanlam’s first foray in Australia was the acquisition of a controlling stake in Atom, in 2008, at which Wilson will continue to act as managing director. Atom is a research-oriented Australian stockpicker which uses a large team of analysts based in India as well as the Sydney-based managers.

Wilson said yesterday that several other appointments to Eight would be announced in the coming months, both in Australia and overseas.

He said he would continue to oversee the management and sales at Atom, working with Sanlam on the development of both businesses. Atom’s co-founder and CIO, David Shearwood, continues in that role.

Series said in November that he expected that Eight would develop a range of strategies for both Australian and offshore clients, but the core offering would be the Pan Asian – including Australian – shares fund.

Series was one of the founding partners of Perennial Investment Partners, after he and Mike Crivelli, the main founder, had worked on an Asian equities fund at the former Pacific Road Funds Management from about 1998.

Boon Hong-Yeo, who has become senior portfolio manager at Eight, has more than 20 years experience managing Asian equities. Before Credit Suisse, he headed investment teams at Credit Lyonnais, Nicholas Applegate and CMG.

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