HuaAn Fund Management Company (FMC) appointed Zhu Zhongqun as chairman on Friday to fill the vacancy left by Yu Miaogen in September.
The Shanghai-based firm has seen four other senior executives leave this year, including a chief investment officer and three deputy general managers. Yu's future destination remains unknown.
Zhu was previously assistant general manager at Shanghai International Group (SIG), parent of Shanghai International Trust & Investment Corporation, which has a 20% stake in HuaAn FMC. His predecessor, Yu, had also served at SIG before joining HuaAn in 2006.
The pending appointment was reportedly flagged when Zhu was made a board director at HuaAn in September. However, it could not be confirmed because the China Securities Regulatory Commission requires a silent period, which bans FMCs from announcing senior appointments within three months of the job change.
Zhu has also worked at the People’s Bank of China, National Development Bank, Everbright Bank, Ping An Life Insurance and Great Wall Life Insurance.
As for HuaAn's other departures, CIO Wang Weiguo resigned in March, followed by three deputy general managers – Li Bingwang, Han Yong and Shao Jiejun – in August, September and November, respectively.
FMCs in China have been plagued by high staff turnover, particularly among portfolio managers, but this year the trend has escalated to senior staff.
Firms that have lost general managers in 2011 include Bosera, China Merchants, Franklin Templeton Sealand, Galaxy, Great Wall, Guotai Junan Allianz, Minsheng Royal, SWS MU and Zhonghai.
As the talent pool in the asset management industry is still small in China compared with developed markets, a senior manager’s departure from one firm may often trigger another move at a competitor. For instance, Zhang Jiabin took the general manager position at KBC Goldstate after departing Minsheng Royal, as AsianInvestor reported in March.
And in July, Xu Xiaosong, former general manager at Guotai Junan Allianz, took the baton from Cheng Baoliang, former general manager of China Merchants FMC, who left in June to start a private equity fund.
Following his exit from HuaAn, sources tell AsianInvestor that Shao Jiejun has resurfaced as the new general manager at Guotai Junan Allianz to fill the post left vacant by Xu.
Outflows and disappointing performance from many Chinese FMCs will not have helped matters. HuaAn, for example, saw its AUM fall 14% year-on-year to $10.5 billion as at September 30.