Hedge Fund Elliott Management to Shutter Hong Kong Office

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BOSTON Reuters U.S. hedge fund Elliott Management, known for its activist bent, is closing its 20strong office in Hong Kong after moving responsibility for Asian investment decisions to London and Tokyo over the past three years.

The 44yearold firm told investors the Hong Kong workforce was being moved to London and Tokyo, a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

The Hong Kong closure does not signal a shift in investment priorities, the source said, however. Although the decision is being made largely for efficiency reasons, it coincides with rising political tension in the Asian financial hub.

Over the last three years, Elliotts office has shrunk down from about 100, with the Hong Kongbased portfolio managers moving elsewhere, the source added.

In a rare example of shareholder activism, Elliott has invested in independent Hong Kong lender Bank of East Asia BEA, waging a campaign to demand reforms, such as urging the bank to put itself up for sale.

Legal proceedings between the two were put on hold last year after the bank said it would review its assets, and later added it would initiate a sale of its insurance business.

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

Japan, like some other countries in the region, hopes to lure banks and asset managers from the…

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