The head of fixed income at First State Investments (FSI), Murray Collis, has quit after 15 years with the group to move to a rival firm, AsianInvestor can confirm.

Collis had worked his way up to head of Asian fixed interest at First State over the past decade, having relocated from London to Hong Kong in 2007 to take up the regional role.

But Collis quit at the end of September “to pursue another job opportunity”, says an FSI spokeswoman. He remains on gardening leave until January next year.

Market intelligence had suggested he was headed to Standard Life Investments in a similar capacity. Both Standard Life Investments and Collis himself declined to comment.

However, subsequent speculation indicates this is not the case. AsianInvestor could not verify information on where Collis was headed by press time.

The FSI spokeswoman confirms that Nigel Foo, who was co-managing fixed income products with Collis, will continue to manage Asian credit and local currency debt through the First State Asian Quality Bond Fund and First State Asian Bond Fund offerings.

Foo is based in Singapore and supported by Nicole Hsieh in Hong Kong, who is responsible for formulating investment strategies and analysing Asian portfolios with a focus on HK dollar bonds.

Asked whether First State would look to replace Collis, the spokeswoman says only that an internal discussion is going on, but that the team continues to run smoothly.

Overall First State has six fixed income professionals across Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia, with four portfolio managers and two analysts.

“We would like to acknowledge the contribution that Murray has made to the global fixed interest and credit team in a career spanning over 15 years with the group,” she adds.

Prior to his role in Asia, Collis was a portfolio manager within First State’s global fixed interest team based in London for six years from 2001 to 2007. Prior to that he spent a year as a foreign exchange portfolio manager with Colonial First State Global Asset Management in Sydney.

He also worked as a foreign exchange manager within the treasury department of the State Bank of New South Wales before it was taken over by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.