Asset manager Fidelity has hired Herman Chen from Lyxor Asset Management, a subsidiary of French bank Société Générale, to serve as its new head of institutional sales for China.
Chen started at Fidelity on November 5 in Hong Kong and replaces Bin Han, who quit Fidelity this February to join Credit Suisse as head of distribution for China.
Chen now has responsibility for institutional business development and client management in China, in charge of key relationships with the country's asset owners.
Until the start of this month Chen was based in Hong Kong as head of ETF distribution for Asia-Pacific at Lyxor. However, just a few months after he joined in March last year the French firm moved to delist its range of 12 synthetic ETFs in Hong Kong, as reported.
Sources suggested it had not achieved sufficient volume to make managing these ETFs cost-effective, with the 12 funds having amassed just $150 million in total, although a Lyxor spokesman at the time said the firm planned to retain its ETFs in Singapore.
Prior to joining Lyxor, Chen worked as director in BlackRock’s iShares business, where he was responsible for ETF sales in China. He has also worked in equity derivative China sales at ABN Amro and fixed income derivative China sales at Citibank.
Fidelity has seen a number of departures in recent times in Asia, none more senior than Arne Lindman this past week as the firm moved to scrap the post of Asia-Pacific CEO, as reported.
In August Kerry Ching quit Fidelity as country head for Hong Kong, with responsibility for institutional, wholesale and retail direct business, to join AMP Capital to lead institutional sales and business development for the region.
Senior portfolio manager Joseph Tse also left Fidelity this July. He was managing the firm's Asian Special Situations Fund and its Greater China Fund, responsibility for which was passed to Suranjan Mukherjee and Raymond Ma, respectively.
Asked if Lyxor intended to replace Chen and was committed to its range of ETFs in Singapore, a spokeswoman from parent SocGen declined to comment.
But she denied that the delisting of its ETFs from Hong Kong this March in any way represented a withdrawal from the Hong Kong retail market.
“Lyxor Asset Management remains strongly committed to the Hong Kong market and to Asia in general,” she tells AsianInvestor. “Particularly in Hong Kong, Lyxor Asset Management will continue to increase its mutual fund offering, with quantitative funds and structured funds available to Hong Kong retail investors.”
By way of example, she noted that in May last year Lyxor had launched an absolute return listed futures fund – Lyxor Epsilon Managed Futures Fund – into the Hong Kong retail market.
In April last year Timothee Bousser, then head of SocGen’s global equity flow business for Asia-Pacific, said the bank intended to expand distribution of its ETFs and quant indexing products. Bousser has since been reassigned to head of equities for Asia-Pacific, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Lyxor lost its former Asia head of ETFs, Joseph Ho, in September 2010 and he subsequently joined Credit Suisse in February last year as its regional head of ETFs based in Hong Kong.
However, Credit Suisse put its ETF business up for sale earlier this year. It has an estimated $17 billion in assets and could fetch up to $150 million, media have reported, with interest from the world’s two largest ETF providers, BlackRock and State Street Global Advisors.