HONG KONG – Bell Pottinger plans to open a regional office in Hong Kong to meet client demand and continue the expansion of its Asian operations.

James Watson, former a director with Kreab Gavin Anderson, joins as a partner and MD of the Hong Kong office. Watson has 10 years of financial experience as a chartered accountant, stockbroker and communications consultant.

Bell Pottinger has been servicing clients throughout the region through its Asia headquarters in Singapore. The opening of a second office in Hong Kong is a reaction to client requests for a more permanent presence in the city. Bell Pottinger's Asian operations are under the leadership CEO Ang Shih-Huei and chairman of Asia and co-founder Piers Pottinger.

Bell Pottinger has also added to its senior team in Singapore, after winning new clients in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Vietnam. Ben Richardson has been appointed partner in Singapore and joins from the BBC, where he was the Singapore bureau chief. Chelsea Phua, formerly a senior consultant at Citigate Dewe Rogerson, joins in Singapore as an associate partner.