Aberdeen Standard Investments is losing another senior executive in Asia in the aftermath of last year's merger, with the departure of Zhang Xiaosong, an investment director in institutional sales.

AsianInvestor could not ascertain what Zhang's next role might be, but his move likely reflects the high demand for talent with experience of China investments and of servicing mainland clients.

Contributing to the merry-go-round of China investment specialists in recent months, Hong Kong-based Zhang was primarily responsible for China institutional business development at the erstwhile Standard Life Investments and was part of its Asian institutional sales team.

He is set to leave the firm on June 20, a spokeswoman for the Aberdeen Standard Investments told AsianInvestor.

There is no direct replacement but Amy Wang, previously with Amundi Pioneer Asset Management, was hired to head the group’s onshore China business in September last year.

Zhang's departure follows the exit in March of David Peng, the former Asia head of Standard Life Investments.

Peng has since joined Legal and General Investment Management as its head of Asia Pacific ex-Japan. He reports to Roger Bartley, vice chairman for investments, a spokeswoman for LGIM told AsianInvestor.

A month earlier, Kathy Kejia Xu, a portfolio manager, left Aberdeen Standard Investments to join Dutch pension fund manager APG in Hong Kong for a newly created role, AsianInvestor reported.

Personnel changes were cited among the many concerns that investors have when fund houses merge, according to an open-ended poll survey by AsianInvestor at its Asian Investment Summit in Hong Kong on May 29-31. Other merger-related concerns included fears of investment processes changing, fewer investment choices and changes in customer service. 

For all that , Asia remains a key area of focus for Aberdeen Standard Investments, with China, India, Japan and Southeast Asia named as key growth markets, according to its 2017 annual results presentation.

Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management completed their £11 billion ($14.8 billion) merger in August 2017.
Amid the revamp in personnel, veteran investor Hugh Young was appointed Aberdeen Standard Investments’ head of Asia Pacific, while Andrew Hendry was named head of distribution for Asia Pacific in April.