ONE of the more extrovert investment teams of the 1980s is being partly re-formed under its old name of Special Assets to again attempt to make money by buying assets nobody wants. The directors who originally formed Special Assets achieved fame in the late 1980s partly through their investment philosophy, which was similar to that of prominent US investor Warren Buffett, and partly through their battles on behalf of minority shareholders, particularly with the companies owning the Hyatt Regency Hotel. ''We had a lot of fun doing this. We all made a lot of money, the shareholders made a lot of money. We had some soul-searching and said we would get back together again,'' said Mr Robert Meyer, Special Assets' chairman and managing director. The corporate vehicle of Special Assets, once known as New Special Assets, was originally formed as part of the takeover of the company by investor Richard Poon Jing as an unlisted holding company for assets which could not be sold at a fair value and which would slowly release cash to shareholders. After 18 months out of the business, three of the directors have decided to reactivate the company. With Mr Meyer are Mr Dennis Goquingco, who is already scouting for investments elsewhere in Asia, and Mr Richard Lawrence. Mr Lawrence was already raising cash for an investment venture he will manage called Special Assets Overlook LP, to which Special Assets will subscribe US$5 million of its $30 million capital and which will invest in listed Asian firms. Special Assets itself will invest in public companies and properties in the region, partly using cash raised from the sale of its highly successful investment in First Pacific Networks, a technology company recently quoted in the US. Although unlisted, Asia Equity, Schroeder Securities and Wocom match buyers and sellers of the shares. Mr Meyer does not rule out a listing, but says such a move would be two or three years away. Mr Meyer and his colleagues are firm adherents to the fundamental school of investment. Mr Meyer describes their purchases as ''the unpopular, the misunderstood, the undiscovered, the untimely'' and says the emergence of US and European institutions has not changed the nature of stock markets in the region, which still cycle between greed and fear.