THE door to one of Britain's top fund management groups was opened to Hong Kong investors last week with the launch of Guinness Flight Asia. The fund management group's new Hong Kong office will offer a specialised investment management service focusing on equity funds, bond funds and managed currency funds for retail investors. Led by former Jardine Fleming director Dudley Howard, Guinness Flight Asia will have a minimum investment of US$10,000 (about HK$77,100) and a special brief to recruit Hong Kong Chinese clients. The backbone of the group is the Guinness Flight global strategy fund, an umbrella fund that was launched in 1985 and now consists of 31 sub-funds. For small investors, Mr Howard has a simple service formula. ''When it comes to investing money, people are looking for attention on a personal basis,'' he said. ''I have this deeply held belief that customers are welcome. If you spend time with customers at the beginning, they will take less and less time on subsequent visits. ''Customers who come in frequently are those who didn't get decent service when they first came and are coming back to check and re-check.'' According to Mr Howard, a factor that distinguishes Guinness Flight from its competition is that 25 of its investment managers, including those based in Hong Kong, have a stake in the company. ''Fund management companies lose good investment managers if they don't have an interest in the business,'' he said. There are significant benefits to clients when investment managers are a part of the business. ''Staff turnover is lower and customers receive better service,'' Mr Howard said. Before the opening of its new investment centre, which is located in the Far East Finance Centre in Admiralty, Guinness Flight funds were sold mainly through financial planners by Guinness Flight Asia director James Leslie. The new office includes a bilingual investment shop as well as a marketing, administration and research department. ''We advise small investors to do something constructive with their cash,'' Mr Leslie said. This includes an investment in either Guinness Flight's managed currency fund or its Asia currency and bond fund. ''The yen is very close to being fully valued and equity exposure should be made in Japanese exporters who stand to gain from a weaker yen.'' Because the economic recovery in Europe is still behind the US, Guinness Flight is also recommending to its clients that they buy European bonds on a hedged basis.