Nitin Parekh, chief investment officer (CIO) for Asia ex-Japan equities at HSBC Asset Management in Hong Kong, has left the firm. He returned to the United Kingdom for personal reasons, says Paul Chow, CEO at the asset management firm.

Prior to joining HSBC, Parekh had served as regional equities strategist at CSFB.

Chow says HSBC has contracted a headhunter to find a replacement from outside the group.

HSBC Asset Management has about $16 billion under management, of which a little over half is in equities. Local equity assets have rocketed over the past two years thanks to selling guaranteed mutual funds to Hong Kong retail investors, who have invested nearly $3 billion over the past two years into the product.