JP Morgan Asset Management has shuffled its Asia fixed income investment team as a result of the departure of long-standing division head Stephen Chang, who had co-managed several strategies.

Chang has left to pursue other opportunities and his regulatory licence in Hong Kong ended on February 26. He had been with the New York-based firm for 14 years and was instrumental in building the regional fixed income team, said a client note by fund research house Morningstar.

JP Morgan AM, with $1.7 trillion under management globally, has promoted Ho Shaw-Yann, formerly head of Asian credit, to head of Asian fixed income to replace Chang. The team is 11-strong, including Ho and an individual at the firm's China joint venture CIFM, and oversees $10.2 billion in assets.

Ho and Jason Pang, senior portfolio manager for local rates and foreign exchange, will now co-manage the Asian total-return bond fund, which had previously been run by Chang. Morningstar has placed the $3.6 billion fund, which was launched in January 2005 and is among the biggest in the Asian bond space, under review.

Ho Shaw-Yann

Ho has been with JP Morgan since 2011 and had worked alongside Chang in co-managing several strategies since then, said a spokeswoman for the fund house. She added that there would be no change in the way portfolios are managed across all Asian fixed income strategies.

“Our success has always been driven by our team-based approach, disciplined process and robust risk management,” she noted. “As our top priority, Shaw Yann is overseeing a seamless transition to maintain the integrity of our investment process.”

Other changes to the team are as follows:

  • Ho has replaced Chang as co-portfolio manager with Pang on JP Morgan AM’s China bond fund.
  • Pang has replaced Chang as co-PM with Arjun Vij on the global bond fund.
  • Selina Yu has replaced Chang as co-PM on several funds: as co-PM with Ho on the Hong Kong dollar bond fund; as co-PM with Ho Shaw-Yann, Jeffrey Roskell and Julie Ho on the Asia Pacific income fund; and as co-PM with Ho Shaw-Yann on the Asia high-yield bond fund.
  • Ho Shaw-Yann has replaced Chang as co-PM, alongside Lilian Leung and Emerson Yip, on the China income fund.
Stephen Chang

Morningstar said Chang had delivered "respectable long-term risk-adjusted returns". Since inception in January 2005, through November 30, 2017, the Asia total-return bond fund had an annualised Sharpe ratio of 1.25, beating its Asia bond custom peer group’s 0.84, noted the research firm. Sharpe ratio is a measure of excess return over the risk-free rate relative to its standard deviation.

Before joining JP Morgan in 2004, Chang had worked at Royal Bank of Scotland and asset manager Fischer Francis Trees & Watts.

He did not respond to an emailed query from AsianInvestor.

Rival firm Schroder Investment Management also recently lost its head of Asia fixed income, as reported by AsianInvestor on March 6. Rajeev De Mello moved on last month amid differences in opinion over the strategic direction of the business, which has now been restructured.