One of the central figures in the collapse of Peregrine Investments Holdings, Andre Lee, is back in business. After joining forces with three executives of the high-flying investment bank which plunged to earth last January with debts of US$1 billion, Mr Lee is leading the creation of an investment advisory firm. 01 Inc, based in Seoul, will specialise in 'opening the door to a brave new world of finance through the proactive use of information technology', according to a quote from Mr Lee in a promotional brochure about to be released. Speaking from Seoul, Mr Lee said there had been a 'paradigm shift' in the way that business was being conducted and his company would fuse 'the financial world with [the] digital world'. 'We are mobilising the immense interactive power of IT to deliver financial services and products more quickly, more cheaply and more effectively than ever before. 'Asia (excluding Japan and the Indian subcontinent) is our template market. But what we are building has global implications and applications. That's because we are building the world's first digital investment bank,' the brochure states. Mr Lee, as chief of the fixed income operation, was a guiding force behind Peregrine's development into Asia's biggest independent investment bank. Revelling in its reputation for risk-taking and innovation during Asia's period of explosive growth in the early 1990s, Peregrine chanced its hand in numerous controversial deals. However, the firm's buccaneering came to an end with the US$270 million temporary bridging loan to Indonesian taxi firm Steady Safe, months before the Indonesian currency crashed. Mr Lee was the architect of the deal which Peregrine executives subsequently claimed had been kept secret from senior management. During the telephone interview from Seoul, Mr Lee spoke of his lasting affections for Peregrine and maintained that his role in the company's demise had been misrepresented by the media. 'I dearly loved Peregrine and it always remains with me,' he said. Since the firm's crash he has achieved 'an inner peace' and continues to respect the 'vision' Peregrine had for Asia and the hard work of his former colleagues. The other members of the 01 team - Winston Hsia, Robert Hart and Lynne Chui - also worked in Peregrine's fixed income department. 'We have strong and close relations and we enjoyed being together,' Mr Lee said. A former executive of Peregrine said: 'These guys go all the way back together. They were part of the inner circle of the fixed income team at Peregrine. Winston was always Andre's loyal lieutenant and came to Peregrine with him from Lehman Brothers.' Mr Lee's experience in banking features on the front of the brochure. 'Inspired and led by chief executive officer Andre Lee - the banker whose vision and drive created and sustained the entire Asian debt capital markets between 1993 and 1997 - 01's message is clear,' it says. The firm was formed by a group of 'senior investment bankers who believe the current precepts and practices in international banking ill serve the industry's twin issuer and investor client bases'. Under the heading, 'Giving power back to clients', the brochure continues: '01's new paradigm will demythologise the investment banking role. Lee says 'Our digital investment bank will give back to users and investors the power of choice. We will be able to customise transactions in terms of maturity, price and structure to give clients exponentially more flexibility'.' The firm will have financial advisory, investment advisory, structured finance legal and consulting and middle-market merger and acquisition activities. 'We will try to build a business offering personal advisory services for people in Asia and beyond,' Mr Lee says. 01 is in a highly formative stage with no clients and Mr Lee cautions against undue optimism. 'Most start-ups never survive and we are a start-up,' he says. The name 01 comes through the union of two ideas; a basis point and a binary computer code.