TERENCE Mahony is heading HSBC Asset Management's new global emerging markets division based in Hong Kong, with plans for a new range of funds in the sector and a team of fund managers and analysts worldwide. The group will formally start business on January 1, when the global brand name of HSBC Asset Management will be launched around the world. Mr Mahoney, the former Baring International Investment Management director, made his name in the asset management community with the launch of the group's successful Puma Fund. It initially took in US$60 million in 1991 and is now worth about $150 million. This was followed by the group's launch of emerging markets umbrella funds and a Latin America fund. Mr Mahony has based himself in Hong Kong because his wife plans to pursue a legal career in the territory. ''When I said I was coming to Hong Kong, at first people did not take me seriously. Then when I sold the house they realised I was really going,'' said Mr Mahony, who will be the chief investment officer of the global emerging markets unit. Mr Mahony worked with Paine Webber before joining Barings. He grew up in Latin America and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. The Baring South American unit started more than three years ago with nothing, and had $400 million by the time he left the group this year. HSBC Asset Management is the parent of HSBC's asset management companies, including Wardley Investment Services, Marinvest and James Capel. At the asset management group, Mr Mahony is planning to set up a global emerging markets team with a new umbrella fund range of emerging markets funds.