Amundi’s chief investment officer for Asia ex-Japan equities left last week, following the set-up of a new emerging-market equity team, AsianInvestor can reveal.

Anthony Ho, who was also deputy chief executive for Hong Kong, will not be replaced as Asia CIO due to the recent creation of "a fully integrated emerging equity group", said an Amundi spokesperson in an emailed statement. The French fund house did not give a date for when this took place.

The new group brings together around 30 investment professionals from its investment centres in Paris, Asia (Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur) and central/eastern Europe (Vienna, Prague and Warsaw). 

  Patrice Lemonnier

It will be headed by Patrice Lemonnier, head of EM equities, and Mickaël Tricot, deputy head of EM equities, said the statement. They will focus on managing active strategies with a total AUM of more than $10 billion, added Amundi, Europe’s biggest fund house with $1.176 billion under management as of September 2016, including $151 billion in Asia Pacific.

The firm, which won AsianInvestor's annual award for best business development this year, said the equity team in Asia would fit naturally into this new organisation.

“Our clients will benefit from a broader coverage and enhanced idea generation capabilities under a shared cross-border investment framework," it added.

“Although there are no changes to the EM equity local reporting lines or other staffing in Asia, the new configuration should enhance the service we provide in this expertise to our clients.”

However, it is not clear what has changed in practical terms, as both Lemonnier and Tricot’s titles remain the same and they are staying in Paris. Amundi did not further elaborate.

The move comes as the French fund house progresses with its acquisition of Pioneer Investments, which has a presence in Asia and its own EM fixed income and equity businesses. Amundi had unveiled the deal to buy Pioneer, the asset management arm of Italian bank Unicredit, in December.

Amundi said the creation of the new EM group was not related to the merger deal.

Ho’s background

  Anthony Ho

Ho, whose last day at Amundi was May 31, is believed to have another role lined up, but AsianInvestor could not ascertain his next destination.

He had joined Amundi in October 2015 to succeed Ayaz Ebrahim after the latter’s move to JP Morgan Asset Management. Ho had reported to Zhong Xiaofeng, Amundi’s North Asia CEO, and Romain Boscher, global head of equities.

Ho had previously been CEO of the Hong Kong subsidiary of China International Fund Management (CIFM) since 2014. Shanghai-based CIFM is a joint venture between JP Morgan AM and Shanghai International Trust.

Ho has also worked for JP Morgan Asset Management, China Asset Management, Fidelity Worldwide Investment and Arthur Andersen.