Eric Fu, most recently the director and head of institutional business for Hong Kong and China at Fidelity Investments, has joined Shenzhen-based China Southern Fund Management as chief marketing officer.

At China Southern, Fu reports to CEO Gao Liangyu and will oversee both retail and institutional marketing efforts in China, with the possibility of the role expanding to cover overseas markets.

Fu is a graduate in economics from the University of London and also studied international business and marketing at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He also holds an EMBA degree from the University of Western Ontario in Canada.

Prior to joining Fidelity as a head of retail sales in 2000, he worked for Standard Chartered and BNP Paribas in Hong Kong.

In 2003, Fu was named head of intermediary business for Hong Kong at Fidelity, where he was responsible for overseeing relationships with over 100 distributors in the insurance and banking industries.

By September 2007, Fu was promoted to head of institutional business for Hong Kong and China, with a special focus on monitoring market situations in China and introducing QDII products to both Chinese institutional and retail investors.

Fu now leaves Fidelity after having spent nine months in his latest role. He takes with him 17 years of industry experience and relationships cultivated as an executive member of the Hong Kong Investment Funds Association.

This marks the second key departure from Fidelity in 2008, following the retirement earlier this year of its head of institutional investment, Nicholas Rogers.

At China Southern, Fu replaces vice general manager Xu Xiaochung who resigned together with assistant general manager Liu Chinjian.

Ding Chen, director for international business at China Southern, says the firm will proceed with plans to launch a second qualified domestic institutional investor (QDII) fund in the second half of the year. Subject to regulatory approval, the firm plans to set up a Hong Kong office to use as a research and marketing base for overseas markets.

Evan Hale, managing director at Fidelity for Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and China, says Fidelity has no plans of announcing replacements for Fu and Rogers.

Instead, Hale says a reorganisation of Fidelity's institutional team is in the works. Sales and relationship management will become separate functions. Under this framework, Sherry Wong will continue to head institutional sales, while Daisy Ho will run the service and operations team as head of institutional relationship management for the institutional business.

ôWhat we have is a really good, solid team that we are working on enhancing," Hale says.

Hale notes that Fidelity's institutional team covers two major businesses û one is a more traditional business and the other is the defined contribution Mandatory Provident Fund and Occupational Retirement Schemes Ordinance business. Both are very important business lines, he says.

"There is a focus on sales and a focus on proactively working with the client to make sure that the overall day-to-day servicing is excellent. We have very capable individuals to drive that forward,ö Hale says.