HONG KONG — UK corporate PR firm Hudson Sandler has launched a Hong Kong office to serve as its hub in the Asia Pacific region.

The expansion marks the Huntsworth firm's first office in Asia. The operation will be led by MD Maria Ignatova who relocates from London to lead a local team of five executives in Hong Kong.

Ignatova will continue to lead Hudson Sandler's Russian practice, working with a team of five professionals in London led by Elena Garside.

Her move to Hong Kong reflects an increasing focus on Asia from Russian corporates, for such clients as The Russian Direct Investment Fund and Severstal.

The Asia-Pacific operation will be chaired by Andrew Nicolls, who helped expand Penrose and MHP internationally, before joining Hudson Sandler as vice-chair in 2013.

“Over the last eight years we have built one of the world’s leading communications practices focussed on supporting blue chip Russian corporates," said Ignatova. "Asia-Pacific has always been an important market for Russia and now we are on the ground, we are uniquely well placed to help develop relationships and profile as well access to local capital markets."