HSBC Global Asset Management has seen two long-serving investment professionals exit its China and Hong Kong equities desk – departures that could affect the mandates and funds it runs for institutions and other clients.

Mandy Chan, the former head of China and Hong Kong equities, left on December 19 after a decade with the firm, after Michael Chiu relinquished the post of lead Hong Kong equity portfolio manager in October.

Mandy Chan

The remaining investment team members are looking after Chan’s responsibilities while HSBC looks to recruit a new team head, a spokeswoman told AsianInvestor

Joy Yuan, an investment director for equities, will take over management of the Hong Kong equity portfolios from Chiu. The spokeswoman said the firm was seeking a replacement for Chiu, who had joined HSBC in June 2012 from ING Investment Management.

HSBC Global AM had $9.2 billion invested in China and Hong Kong equities as of end-September, she added.

The spokeswoman said: “Our team-based, process-driven approach and ability to leverage wide resources available across Asia will ensure a smooth transition as we continue to meet clients’ needs. Our investment process and philosophy remain entirely unchanged.”

Ultimately, any personnel changes to investment teams – especially those involving important individuals – have the potential to affect strategies' performance. 

AsianInvestor could not ascertain Chan or Chiu next destinations, and neither could be reached for comment.

Their departures follow the September exit of HSBC Global AM’s lead Asia bond fund manager, Gregory Suen, to join Dutch pension fund manager APG. The fund house is still seeking a replacement, said the spokeswoman.

These changes come amid a major cost-cutting drive at group level that could see as many as 10,000 jobs eliminated at the bank. The spokeswoman said the departures of Chan, Chiu and Suen were not related to the wider layoffs.

According to Citywire data, as of end-November 2019 the HSBC GIF Chinese Equity Fund run by Chan had posted total returns of 62.1% (in sterling) over the five years to that date, which placed it 20th out of 43 in its peer group. The fund’s three-year total return was 27.4% (22nd of 51) and for one year 9.4% (41st of 71).

HSBC Global AM had in September launched a China A-share equity fund that Chan had been set to oversee. The vehicle is co-managed by the firm’s Jintrust team in Shanghai and its offshore investment team in Hong Kong. 

Before joining HSBC in December 2009, Chan was the Greater China chief investment officer for BNP Paribas Asset Management.