LDC opens Hong Kong office

The UK firm is putting a team in place in Asia with the primary aim of helping its existing portfolio access Asian markets.

Lloyds TSB Development Capital (LDC) has opened an office in Hong Kong, its first outside Europe and its second outside the UK.

The Hong Kong-based team is being put in place to create a network of Asian “contacts and capabilities” which will benefit its portfolio of UK companies.

“One of the main objectives is to look to leverage off the Asia connection, whether that be on the supply chain side, with new products, or assisting the companies in making an entry into Asian markets,” Paul Johnson, international managing director at LDC, said in an interview.

The Hong Kong team will also have the remit of developing direct investment capability in India and the Chinese mainland. Johnson said the firm was “very close” to making a commitment to a Chinese fund, which would constitute a strategic partnership.

Craig Wilkinson, previously an investment director at LDC’s Leeds office, will manage the Hong Kong office and has been joined by Naveen Khugputh, formerly an investment manager in LDC’s London office.

Eventually LDC aims to staff the office with six professionals. It is in the process of recruiting a senior Asia adviser and two local Chinese investment executives, Johnson said.

LDC’s only other non-UK office location is in Amsterdam.

In November, LDC recruited Hemisphere Capital co-founder Daniel Sasaki to join its London office as director. The firm said it was beefing up its London team to take advantage of local “re-priced opportunities” in the wake of the financial crisis. Sasaki will focus on the telecoms, media and technology sectors.