Winnie Pao has left the Hospital Authority Provident Fund Schemes (Haps) as director of investment supervision, after seven years of service. The Hospital Authority, with over $4.4 billion of assets under management, is considered one of Hong KongÆs most sophisticated institutional investors. Pao is well regarded by many executives in the Asian fund management industry.

Sources familiar with her decision say she does not have immediate plans to take on a full-time job. She is reportedly going to work for Amy Yip, CEO of DBS Hong Kong, on a part-time consulting basis. DBS Hong Kong is keen to build its business in structured products, both at a retail level and to sell these to institutions, and will draw on PaoÆs experience to do so. Yip was previously director in charge of reserves management at the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

In addition to her time at Haps, Pao has another 15 years of experience in the investment field, half in fixed-income and currency portfolio management, and half in equity sales and research. When she joined Haps, she was replacing Jimmy Pun, who now works at HSBCÆs securities services business, serving pension fund clients.

While at Haps, Pao oversaw a reorganisation of the pension schemes, introducing membersÆ choice to its MPF-exempt Orso [Occupational Retirement Schemes Ordinance] pension plan in 2003. This involved introducing a number of lifestyle funds instead of lumping all of the schemesÆ defined-benefit accounts into a single investment vehicle.

Under her tenure, Haps has also been a pioneer regarding allocations to funds of hedge funds and the use of currency overlay programmes. Most recently, Haps began a trial use of wealth-weighted index benchmarks, mandating State Street Global Advisors for a passive mandate using a FTSE RAFI Hong Kong equity index. If successful, Haps may consider substituting these for active managers, Pao told AsianInvestor in September 2007.

Heman Wong is taking over the investment director role at Haps. Wong, who began at the start of the month, joins from the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority (MPFA), the regulator for the MPF system. He had worked at MPFA as treasurer, responsible for managing around $767 million, most of which consists of working capital originally provided by the government when the system was launched in December 2000; as well as the assets behind the MPFAÆs compensation fund.

Wong says he does not foresee making any major changes to HapsÆ investment strategy. ôItÆs a pension system, weÆre not selling bank products,ö he notes. He will be succeeded at MPFA by Dick Tsang, a former portfolio manager at Hang Seng BankÆs asset management unit.