US fund house Invesco has started to build an investment team in Singapore with the hire of Abdul Jalil Rasheed to run its Asean equity fund. The firm's Asia-based portfolio managers are currently all in Hong Kong.
Jalil is chief executive of Aberdeen Islamic Asset Management in Kuala Lumpur. It is understood his last day in the role will be March 7 and he will start at Invesco as investment director on April 1.
William Yuen oversees Invesco’s Asean equity fund and its Asian consumer fund, but sources say Jalil will come in to run the latter strategy, presumably leaving Yuen to focus on the consumer fund. Maggie Lee is expected to remain a portfolio manager on the Asean equity fund, having held that post since January 2011.
Sources suggest Jalil will report locally to Piau Lim, Invesco’s head of Singapore, and functionally to Paul Chan, Hong Kong-based chief investment officer for Asia-Pacific.
Invesco declined to comment for this article, and Jalil could not be reached by press time.
His move will mean management changes at Aberdeen, with Gerald Ambrose, managing director for Malaysia, taking over as CEO of the Islamic business. Chong Yoon-Chou, a director at Aberdeen Malaysia, will take on Ambrose’s role as responsible officer.
Jalil's departure highlights the long-standing difficulties Malaysia-based asset managers have in terms of retaining talent, especially individuals with international expertise.
Invesco's Asean equity fund had $275 million in assets as of January 31, and its performance as of that date was 2.86% for 2013, 13.29% for the year to January 31, and 48.13% for the three years to that date.
The firm has made other recent moves to expand its presence in Asia. These include the hire of Christine Huang in March last year to spearhead sales of its PowerShares exchange-traded funds in the region, and the purchase in September of a 49% stake in India’s Religare Asset Management.
At Aberdeen, Jalil oversaw the launch of its first two sharia-compliant retail funds in mid-January. The Aberdeen Islamic Malaysia Equity fund and Aberdeen Islamic World Equity fund were the first two Islamic retail products to be launched by a foreign fund house in Malaysia. Aberdeen was also the first foreign asset manager to receive an Islamic fund management licence in the country.