U.S. hedge fund Elliot Management closes Hong Kong Office

U.S. hedge fund Elliott Management will be closing its office in Hong Kong. It has shifted responsibility for Asian investment decisions to London and Tokyo in the last three years.

According to a source familiar with the matter at hand, the activist hedge fund has told investors that its Hong Kong workforce is being shifted to London and Tokyo.

The source has cautioned that the shuttering of its Hong Kong office does not signal a shift in investment priorities. The decision has to do with increasing efficiency and coincides with rising political tension in the Asian financial hub.

Over the course of the last three years, Elliott Management’s Hong Kong office has shrunk down from about 100, with the Hong Kong-based portfolio managers moving elsewhere, said the source.

The hedge fund has invested in independent Hong Kong lender Bank of East Asia (BEA), and has waged a campaign to demand reforms, including urging the bank to put itself up for sale.

Legal proceedings between the two paused after the bank said it would review its assets, and later added it would initiate a sale of its insurance business.

In Japan, with activist investing becoming more common, Elliott has bought stakes and pushed for changes in companies including hotel chain Unizo Holdings Co Ltd, SoftBank Group Corp, Alps Electric Co and Alpine Electronics Inc.

Like many other countries, Japan is luring asset managers and banks from Hong Kong after China imposed draconian measures in the garb of a security legislation prompting many companies to reassess their operations in the territory.

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