Goldman Sachs Asset Management saw its head of Greater China equity depart last month, after some 11 years at the firm, AsianInvestor can reveal.

Alina Chiew had taken up the role in 2010, and her licence at GSAM expired on July 15. A source said she was heading to a large sovereign wealth fund, but AsianInvestor could not confirm that or ascertain which institution.

Guan Shao-Ping, a member of the China equity investment team, has been promoted to replace Chiew as lead China portfolio manager. He had previously focused on consumer and industrials sector coverage and also retains that responsibility. Guan had joined the team in Hong Kong in 2007.

Chiew had lead-managed GSAM’s China Opportunities Equity fund, which as of August 22 had returned 30.85% in the 12 months to that date, 16.24% annualised over three years and 14.45% annualised over five years, according to Morningstar.

Separately, Sherry Zhu joined in June from US funds giant Vanguard as an analyst on the China institutional team based in Hong Kong. GSAM declined to comment on the hire.

Competition for China equity expertise is fiercer than ever, since Beijing further opened the mainland stock markets to foreign investors via the Stock Connect scheme in November 2014.

Moreover, in the past couple of years international asset managers have been lining up to build operations in China and obtain licences to run private funds onshore, driving up the demand for talent.