MFC Global Investment Management, the asset-management division of Manulife Financial, has hired Matthew Lee and Terrace Chum in Hong Kong to further strengthen its Greater China equity team.

Lee is regional head of Greater China equities while Chum is executive director for Hong Kong and China equities.

Lee is an experienced fund manager, with 25 years under his belt in this industry. He comes from CICC Asset Management in Hong Kong as head of equities, but he has also run money for RCM and AllianceBernstein (in its former JV in Hong Kong, New Alliance Asset Management).

His move suggests both that MFC is serious about building a Greater China equities capability.

Officials at CICC AM say the firm is expanding its business in Hong Kong despite the departure of Lee. James Poon, CICC AM's head of marketing and MD in Hong Kong, says the Hong Kong team now has 18 people and is about to hire two more, and that its local head of equities, Low Yee-hsiang, is a 20-year industry vet who had joined from Morley Fund Management.

Poon says the firm does not manage any proprietary money, but all third-party assets, including a $500 million QDII mandate whose performance remains above water, with an NAV of more than 1. CICC AM also manages a hedge fund that is ranked in the top quartile of China hedge strategies by EurekaHedge. The firm manages around $4 billion in total.

Meanwhile, MFC Global, which has a total AUM of $210 billion, is building a respectable team for Greater China equities. Last year it hired Tahnoon Pasha, a heavy hitter who came from the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. Now it has added Matthew Lee as well as Terrace Chum, who also brings 13 years of investment experience at Schroder Investment Management and, more recently, two Hong Kong hedge funds, working alongside veteran investors Bill Kay and Ophelia Tung.