Hong Kong’s de facto central bank is seeking a head of asset allocation for its Exchange Fund, which manages its reserves. The role is thought to be newly created, reflecting a regional investment trend.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority's new appointee will report to the executive director in the reserves management department of the Exchange Fund, which had HK$2.67 trillion ($344 billion) in AUM as of November 10.

His or her responsibilities will include:

  • formulating and implementing asset allocation decisions involving the fixed income, currency, equity and derivatives markets;
  • supervising and training portfolio managers in cash and derivative market activities;
  • working the risk management and compliance division to ensure the integrity of the investment process; and
  • engaging in quantitative modelling of market dynamics to assist in asset allocation decisions, and to train staff in modelling activities.

Candidates are required to have at least five years' experience in derivatives, seven years in bond markets and seven years in “credit-related activities”, and be experienced in building and leading a team of professionals in tactical trading and management of risk positions.

The HKMA said it must receive applications by this coming Saturday, November 15.

Asset allocation – or multi-asset – strategies have grown hugely in popularity in Asia in the past couple of years. This has led to a big rise in the number of, and flows into, multi-asset funds on offer and in the number of roles and teams being set up dedicated to this investment approach by institutional investors and fund management firms in the region.

Examples in the past few months include Nikko Asset Management and UBS Global Asset Management building out multi-asset capabilities in Asia, BlackRock hiring its first Asia head of multi-asset and HSBC Global Asset Management launching a China multi-asset product.

HKMA's move to appoint its own asset allocation specialist comes a few months after it embarked on a search for a new head of long-term portfolio management, following the departure of the incumbent.

Huh Yong-Hak had worked at the HKMA for six years and resigned for personal reasons on July 23. He had been running a unit investing directly into private equity and real estate. Francis Chu, executive director of reserve management, is overseeing the long-term growth portfolio team in the interim.

When asked if it had appointed an individual to replace Huh or whether there had been anyone in the asset-allocation role previously, the HKMA declined to comment.