The practical implementation of robust portfolio construction in Asia is lagging behind Europe and the US. That is one of the propositions to be discussed at AsianInvestor's 10th Asian Investment Summit in Hong Kong next week.

Panellists, including representatives from Asia Pacific and the Middle East, will discuss how investors in different countries are addressing global diversification and risk management.

Asset consultant Trevor Persaud, of Stradegi, is one of the portfolio construction session panellists.  He takes the view that there is a wide gap between theory and practice in Asia, although there are exceptions, particularly in the case of Asia's sovereign funds.

"[Singapore’s] GIC are there and KIC [Korea Investment Corporation] are getting there," says Persaud. "Technically the Japanese pension funds have carried out a lot of analysis and are grappling with the issues around diversification. And in China, CIC has shown a degree of sophistication in portfolio construction." 

The other panellists in the session include Pisit Leeahtam, president of Thailand’s Association of Provident Funds, Ellecia Saffron, representing a leading Middle East sovereign fund, and Paul Colwell, chair of the Asia portfolio construction group at Towers Watson in Hong Kong. They will bring a variety of practical experiences to the discussion, including development of best practice in Asia, risk management processes and managing liquidity.

Pisit Leeahtam is also on the Thai government's National Reform Council and will be able to provide the Summit with his assessment of progress being made since last year's demonstrations and the resulting military coup.

The session kicks off the second day of the Asian Investment Summit, being held at the Ritz-Carlton Kowloon on May 20 and 21.