HONG KONG—Fleishman-Hillard has expanded its global capital markets services capability to meet what it says is a growing demand for more active investor relations and financial communications programs from companies based in Asia.

The firm has added a dedicated team of Asia-based investor relations veterans and research specialists to its existing financial communications and financial services public affairs capabilities, led by Ruby Yim, who has joined Fleishman-Hillard to lead the global capital markets team in Asia, as well as to serve as co-chair of the firm’s worldwide capital markets team.

She was most recently a managing partner at Taylor Rafferty, and prior to that was the general manager and head of Thomson Financial Investor Relations in Asia Pacific.

She is joined by three senior team leaders who are all investor relations and financial communications professionals. The group plans to develop four specialized client service teams based on client situation and industry. The group will be supported by the firm’s regional research and analysis team and will coordinate closely with experts in corporate media relations, crisis communications, marketing communications and internal communications and with counterparts in Fleishman-Hillard offices around the world.

FH says the move was prompted in part by increased scrutiny of Asian companies, especially those based in China.

According to Yim: “The heightened scrutiny of all listed companies and other investment vehicles is driven by pressure from global investors, lenders and foreign regulators for better risk management. This generates a higher demand for transparency in financial information and more open evaluation of corporate executives as leaders and creators of business strategies.

“This risk evaluation takes place in the context of increasingly volatile financial markets and against the backdrop of economic uncertainty, constrained capital availability and cross-border concerns about corporate governance and financial integrity. Listed companies, investment management organizations, and other market participants must actively address this potential information gap or run the risk of reputation damage and a discount on investment value. Our focus is to prevent that.”