Toscafund, a specialist asset manager, is opening a new office in Hong Kong as it seeks to capitalise on rising wealth opportunities in the Greater Bay Area and other parts of Asia, particularly around family offices and private wealth. The London asset manager started the process of opening the office after a strategic decision last summer and received approval from the Securities and Futures Commission in March. It will have four employees in the city initially, but is looking to expand in the coming months and years, said Mark Tinker, Toscafund Hong Kong’s chief investment officer. He will oversee the office alongside Jonathan Sleath, its chief operating officer. “We see it as a very important part of the world for us,” Tinker said. “As investors, we are increasingly involved in a lot of the new companies that are emerging in Asia and we feel we need a base on the ground there in order to facilitate our ability to invest in Asian companies.” Tinker is a former senior fund manager with AXA Investment Managers in Hong Kong and founder of financial research firm Market Thinking. Sleath is the former investment director at Investec in London and Hong Kong. Toscafund was founded in 2000 by Martin Hughes, the former chairman of Tiger Management Europe. The asset manager has five offices globally, employing about 65 people, and US$4.7 billion in assets under management as of December 31. Hong Kong will be its second office in the Asia-Pacific region. Toscafund also has an office in Melbourne. The company has specialist expertise in public and private investments, including listed equities, financials, microcap, activist, bespoke private equity transactions, private company equity and debt growth funding and United Kingdom commercial real estate. “Toscafund has a 20-year track record of delivering strong returns for family offices,” Hughes said. “I’m really pleased we are opening in Hong Kong as we see great potential for investors, especially family offices and high net-worth individuals joining the existing network.” The decision to open in Hong Kong comes as the city has faced harsh criticism from business leaders over its strict adherence to a “zero Covid” policy as it tries to beat back a virulent fifth wave of coronavirus cases. A number of businesses have talked publicly about temporarily relocating staff to other parts of Asia because of the city’s strict social distancing measures. Nearly half of European companies in Hong Kong are considering moving at least some of their operations out of the city, according to a survey by the European Chamber of Commerce in March. Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced a road map last month for easing restrictions, in part because of waning tolerance among the public and pressure from the business community about the draconian measures, which have included up to three weeks in a quarantine hotel for returning residents. Despite the recent uncertainty during the fifth wave of Covid-19 case, a number of firms continue to bet on the opportunity presented by rising incomes in the Greater Bay Area, particularly as Wealth Management Connect and other programmes further open mainland China’s financial markets. UK insurer Prudential said in February that it planned to locate its next CEO in Asia , with its top executive eventually being located in Hong Kong, as it continues its transformation to focus on Asia and Africa. Standard Chartered chairman Jose Vinals recently said he believes the region should remain “the most dynamic economic area in the world over the medium and long term” despite short-term uncertainties, such as economic disruptions globally following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine . “We obviously recognise, short-term, times are difficult in Hong Kong, but we believe in the future of Hong Kong as a financial centre, particularly its role in terms of the wealth management and family office side of things,” Tinker said.