Goldman Sach’s ex-chief China equities strategist Helen Zhu will not have far to go when she moves to US fund house BlackRock on April 7 – the firms are both based in Hong Kong’s Cheung Kong Centre.
In her newly created position as head of China equities, Zhu will report to Andrew Swan, head of Asian equities. The post was established as part of BlackRock’s buildout of its Asian equities team, an effort led by Swan since he joined the US fund house in 2011.
Zhu’s responsibilities include contributing investment ideas as well as directing research. She will take on some of the research responsibilities previously within portfolio manager Ning Jing’s remit. The firm’s $815 billion BGF China fund is now being co-managed by Swan and Emily Dong following Ning’s departure in mid-2013 to Fidelity.
Zhu will also assume management of portfolios later in the year, but it is unclear which funds she will run, as the firm is still awaiting regulatory approvals.
Another example of the team’s expansion is Oisin Crawley, who became head of research for Asian fundamental equities in Hong Kong on January 6, having previously worked at TT International Investment Management in London.
Zhu joins BlackRock after eight years at Goldman Sachs, where she was most recently its chief China equity strategist. She left the bank earlier this month, and it is understood that a replacement is being sought. A Goldman spokeswoman declined to comment.
Before assuming the China role at Goldman, she worked in the bank’s global investment research division as Asia business unit leader for the telecoms and internet sectors, covering China and regional telecoms stocks. Zhu also worked at ABN Amro for five years in a similar role covering telecoms equity research.
China investment expertise is in huge demand these days, note headhunters, given the fast-rising amount of quota behind handed to asset owners and managers under the qualified foreign institutional investor scheme and its renminbi-denominated equivalent. The programmes allow firms to buy mainland assets onshore and have recently been expanded beyond Hong Kong.