Hong Kong total plan,

one-year performance

Credit Agricole Asset Management

Several teams go into managing CA Asset Management's balanced funds: Asian equities, European equities, US equities, credit research, global fixed income and the Paris-based strategy team. Coordinating so many investment professionals well has allowed the firm to rack up $288 million in Hong Kong total plan funds.

Led by Linda Csellak in Hong Kong with 17 years of industry experience, and Patrick Chia in Singapore with 16 years of experience, CA Asset Management's balanced fund portfolios have outperformed during a very tough year. It was the only manager last year to record a positive return in Watson Wyatt's measurement of investment performance survey, and was also ranked first for two-year performance in Mercer Investment Consulting's Hong Kong total plan investment survey.

Hong Kong total plan,

five-year risk-adjusted performance

Principal Global Investors

Last year we named Principal the best one-year performer in this asset class. Clearly the firm is doing something right. Its steady results have earned its Long Term Guaranteed Fund the best three-year return and among the top five-year returns in Watson Wyatt's Hong Kong retirement scheme measurement of investment performance survey. The fund was 24.1% above the median return over the past three years, and 12.3% over the past five - all while maintaining exceptionally high Sharpe ratios.

As a result, Principal now manages about $200 million in this asset class, mainly sourced from Hong Kong pension schemes as well as from managing assets for MPF providers Bank of East Asia, Invesco and Dao Heng Fund Management.

Hong Kong total plan,

10-year risk-adjusted performance

Fidelity Investments

A solid commitment to research and a consistent presence on the ground help make Fidelity an investment management powerhouse. Fidelity exploits inefficiencies in stock prices by understanding companies, whose prospects and valuation can be predicted more easily than macroeconomic themes. And it's in-house management that provides the basis for that analysis. With around 450 professionals based in regional research offices, including 10 portfolio managers and 19 analysts in the Pacific ex-Japan, averaging over nine years of experience, the firm generates 90% of its investment ideas itself.

Fidelity has also pioneered efficient trading practices in the region, introducing its global funds platform to several Asian markets. The firm's trading systems lead the markets in reducing transaction costs. Its equity order management system is designed to treat clients equally when executing block trades.

The firm boasts a who's who of multinational and local clients in Hong Kong and regionally, both for ORSO schemes as well as for MPF business.

Hong Kong stable growth,

one-year performance; and

five-year risk-adjusted performance

Fidelity Investments

In a tough year, Fidelity outperformed its rivals, which is why it remains a leading provider for blue chip Hong Kong retirement schemes. With 170 employees in Hong Kong, its regional hub, its on-the-ground presence and global research capabilities allow the firm to do well even in bad markets. That is part of a global effort involving around 450 professionals based in regional research offices, including 10 portfolio managers and 19 analysts in the Pacific ex-Japan, averaging over nine years of experience.

More impressively, Fidelity has maintained low tracking error and high information ratios when looking at the three- and five-year results provided by consultants. Despite several competitors in these asset classes, Fidelity wins both in terms of a year's straight performance as well as five years of risk-adjusted investment.

Hong Kong stable growth,

10-year risk-adjusted performance

JF Asset Management

A Hong Kong-based multinational has this to say about JF: "It has been a great relief to place our retirement scheme in the hands of JFAM. Their specialist team has really taken care of everything, particularly the administration which we found so daunting. They are extremely helpful and efficient, providing a fast response to our queries and requests...We definitely made the right decision in going to JFAM for first-class administration and investment management. We have undoubtedly benefited from their extensive knowledge and understanding of both employers' and employees' needs."

Balanced plans require excellence in both equities and fixed income, not to mention asset allocation. In a heavily contested category, JF wins the award. Headquartered in Hong Kong for over 30 years, and with 48 investment professionals in the region, it has a local understanding of clients and a local research capability that is the envy of competitors. In addition, JF can take advantage of parent JPMorgan Fleming Asset Management's global technology and expertise.

Hong Kong capital stable,

one-year performance

Allianz Dresdner Asset Management

The group is known as Adam, which includes a number of investment specialists, but the main focus of this award is on the balanced fund team run by Raymond Chan in Hong Kong representing the old Dresdner RCM. The firm has been managing retirement money for regional clients since 1985 and now has $14 billion of locally sourced assets. Adam boasts 350 people in the Asia-Pacific and did not downsize during either the Asian financial crisis or the recent global bear markets.

The Asia Pacific ex-Japan equities team consists of 11 professionals with an average 12 years of industry experience. Fundamental company research is the key to the firm's performance, with 76 analysts around the world stacking up 4,000 company meetings annually.

Hong Kong capital stable,

five-year risk-adjusted performance

HSBC Asset Management

"Our intention is to be 'core' to our customers' longer-term investment requirements," says the firm. Not only does its parent bank have Hong Kong's most envied corporate Rolodex, but it is now generating the performance for local institutions to back it up. The firm has been building its research capabilities over the past several years and now has 340 investment professionals globally. It uses a combination of macroeconomic analysis as well as fundamental stock-picking, based on 3,000 company visits a year. HSBC AM's dependence on brokerage research has shrunk as it has built its own capability, and it aims to achieve 100% of original coverage of stocks in the next few years.

The firm has also made important additions to its fund management team, including nabbing Ayaz Ebrahim and Husan Pai for Asia Pacific ex-Japan equities from Credit Agricole, and JF Asset Management marketing whiz Sandra Lee for its retail product. HSBC has managed to excel in providing low-risk balanced plans in Hong Kong, and is laying the groundwork to expand its expertise.

Tomorrow: Hong Kong and Singapore equities, and best investment consultant.