Several months ago AsianInvestor set out to identify the 25 most influential women in asset management across Asia Pacific.

Late last month we published our final list, our second of this kind, after we released our inaugural list in May 2011. To see that first ranking, please click here.

Where our list differed this year was we sought to focus on women either managing money or running asset management businesses, meaning we looked to exclude distributors and service providers.

To celebrate, AsianInvestor is set to host a lunch to congratulate the winners and present them with an award. This will take place on Tuesday, May 20 at the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong, and be staged in conjunction with AsianInvestor’s inaugural Women in Asset Management Forum www.womeninam.com.

For tickets or sponsorship enquiries for our Ladies' Long Lunch or Women in Asset Management Forum, please email stuart.wadsworth@asianinvestor.net or call +852 2122 5203.

Each winner will be profiled in the May edition of AsianInvestor magazine. You can also click here to view a photo gallery of our top 25 from 2011.

AsianInvestor will publish profiles of our winners online, listed in alphabetical order by surname. We start with Dai Jingjiao of Harvest Fund Management and Guo TeHua of ICBC Credit Suisse Asset Management.

Dai Jingjiao
Head of steering committee and pending CEO of Harvest Securities

China’s asset management industry is young, and as such it is on a growth trajectory, which creates real opportunity for ambitious careerists. You can count Dai Jingjiao among this number. She has worked her way up the industry to chief investment officer at China’s third largest mutual fund house, Harvest Fund Management.

She held this demanding buyside position for six years until just recently, when she was entrusted with a new challenge: helping Harvest to establish a wholly owned securities firm. She will be unveiled as its CEO once the securities firm gains regulatory approval to set up in Qianhai, Shenzhen – the timeline for which remains woolly. When that happens it will become China’s first securities firm owned by a fund management company.

In the interim, Dai is heading a committee tasked with setting up Harvest Securities. Its business scope will be online trading encompassing both desktop and mobile technology platforms, in a move designed to capture the internet financing wave that has swept China. This trend has seen asset managers partner internet companies to tap this huge nation of netizens.

To her credit, Dai says she is enjoying the challenge of setting up a new business. “To be successful, the most important point is to learn from your work from time to time,” she reflects.

In Asia, the senior reaches of asset management have largely been a male preserve. But Dai sees the industry in China as friendly towards women. “I don’t feel any difference in terms of career opportunities between women and men in China,” she notes. “At Harvest, we have five female fund managers running different asset classes, not to mention many women in senior executive positions.”

Dai joined Harvest in 2004. She worked as head of fixed income, before being promoted to CIO in 2008 to oversee the fund house’s entire investment portfolio, which at the end of 2013 stood at Rmb300 billion ($48 billion). Its equity funds returned an average of 16% in 2013, and 23.6% over the past two years.

Dai started her career at Ping An Group. She served as general manager of the investment banking department of Ping An Securities and head of the asset management arm at Ping An Insurance.

Guo Tehua
CEO, ICBC Credit Suisse Asset Management

ICBC Credit Suisse Asset Management is one of China’s fastest growing asset management companies, a joint venture between the Chinese and Swiss banks. Having been established only in 2005, it is now the fourth largest asset management firm in the country with Rmb171.9 billion ($27.5 billion) in mutual fund assets.

Guo has been chief executive since its founding days, and remains at the helm as it closes in on its 10th anniversary. The firm’s mutual fund business boasts 43 funds and serves six million customers. As CEO, Guo has helped the JV to support a full range of products and services.

It now has licences to run mutual funds, QDII products, enterprise annuity and segregated accounts, including mandates from China’s social security fund. The firm has expanded its investment overseas, establishing its Hong Kong subsidiary in 2011. This won an RQFII licence in 2012 and launched a dedicated RMB fixed income fund last year.

Guo is something of a pension industry pioneer. With a doctorate in economics from the Graduate School of the People’s Bank of China, she has become a corporate pensions expert. When China sought to introduce a corporate pension scheme to replace the old “iron rice bowl” system, the government asked her advice on how to do it. She helped to draft new rules, served as member of the project’s first review committee on corporate annuity qualification and represented China at the World Bank’s Pension Project.

See the forthcoming May edition of AsianInvestor magazine for the full write-ups.