The Hong Kong Jockey Club has hired Chua Sue-wan as deputy group treasurer. Chua begins work on Monday, February 9.

He replaces Keith Yuen who left at the end of last year to join Principal Financial Group as COO for Greater China.

Chua joins from SEI Investments where he has worked for the past eight years, most recently in Hong Kong as head of alternative investments. In this capacity he researched and selected hedge funds for SEI's global multimanager products.

Among SEI's most important clients in Asia: the Hong Kong Jockey Club, which mandated it for its pension scheme in 2004, making the Jockey Club the region's first institution to adopt a multimanager programme. Chua was instrumental in securing that mandate.

According to people familiar with the situation, he is respected by Jacob Tsang, the Club's group treasurer - previously Chua's client, and now his new boss.

His hire is an implicit affirmation by the Jockey Club for the multimanager approach.

Chua's formal title at SEI was managing director and head of Asia investments. About a year ago, he indicated to SEI his desire to retire or move on, and the firm transferred John Lau from the United States to Hong Kong to take over responsibility for Asia long-only equities. Chua concentrated on the hedge component.

People who know Chua now suggest that, due to his critical role at SEI, the firm would have required a long, phased handover, suggesting that Chua might have been planning some kind of move for a while.

His move to the Jockey Club is well regarded by observers, who say Chua earned a reputation among fund managers seeking his mandates as tough and technically deft.

SEI officials in Hong Kong could not comment on whether the firm has a candidate to replace Chua, or whether Lau or team members in the US will take over Chua's duties.

Chua has a total of 14 years of investment experience. Prior to SEI, he also worked at Rothschild Asset Management and the World Bank.