An Asian expansion for Ascalon Capital Managers is imminent, with the Westpac-owned incubator engaging Chuak Chan to front the Asian side of the business in Hong Kong.

Chan will be initially based in the Hong Kong office of Westpac from July and will work on the SFC licencing process in Hong Kong before launching Ascalon.

Andrew Landman, Ascalon Capital Managers’ chief executive, said the incubator was looking to expand in Asia to source potential new investments in boutique managers.

“In the Asian component of managing money, it’s important to be located within Asia, or more specifically Hong Kong or Singapore, to capture the real returns we’re after,” he said.

“So the manufacturing and the research is a lot easier when you are actually physically located in the area you are investing in.”

The Asian expansion is also important for attracting European and US investors, explained Landman, with the flight from Asia to Sydney adding further travel time and cost that many investors decided was not needed.

“A lot of them [US and European investors] fly to Asia, but the next leg down to Sydney is actually a difficult flight, it adds a lot of time to their travel,” Landman said.

The Asian base of Ascalon would predominately target institutional money to begin with, Landman said, with the incubator wanting to be a success in that market before considering targeting funds from the retail space.

In terms of which of its boutiques were quite likely to raise money, Landman named Helix Partners, H3 Global Advisors, Regal Funds Management and Arkx Investment Management as they invested globally.

“Also, I think our local domestic equity products in Continuum [Capital Management] and Alleron [Investment Management] also have the ability to raise money offshore just purely because the Australian stock market pays good yield and offshore investors are still interested in our resource stocks,” he added.

Landman said Regal and H3 had experienced enormous growth from an offshore prospective, while Alleron and ATI Asset Management were continuing to produce good funding locally.

In the last few weeks, ATI landed a $130 million mandate from Advance Asset Management.

“Helix, Continuum and Arkx, we’ve only just seeded those products, so they’re going through our normal profile of making sure they’re doing the right thing with our money” before they are marketed to asset consultants and investors, explained Landman.

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