Fidelity International has hired Kerry Ching as managing director for Hong Kong. Ching, who was previously managing director and head of relationship management at UBS Global Asset Management, is expected to come on board within the next two weeks. She will take over the post from Evan Hale, who has resigned and is set to leave Fidelity International at the end of December after spending 13 years with the fund house.

Hale is taking a short break and is not yet ready to discuss his specific plans for the future. HaleÆs decision to leave Fidelity International has been discussed internally for several months and is not in any way related to recent job cuts at the fund houseÆs operations in Asia.

Hale "has kindly agreed to stay on in his present role until the end of the year to allow a smooth business transition,ö says a spokeswoman at Fidelity International in Hong Kong.

Just like Hale now, Ching will report to Chris Ryan, managing director for Asia ex-Japan at Fidelity International.

Ching has extensive domestic and international experience in the asset management industry across a variety of disciplines including distribution, institutional business, client relations, product development, taxation and accounting. At UBS Global Asset Management - where she has not been replaced after leaving several months ago - her job involved not just client servicing but developing products for the private bank as well as conducting joint pitches with UBS Wealth Management to its high-net-worth clients. Before that, she was CEO of Invesco Hong Kong. She also previously worked at the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission.

Hale, meanwhile, was appointed managing director for Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and China in 2006 and was responsible for developing and implementing the fund houseÆs business strategy in those markets. Hale later focused on being managing director for Hong Kong, while taking on the responsibility for a regional effort to win business from private banks and establish a direct sales effort for high-net-worth individuals.

Before moving to Hong Kong, Hale was managing director at Fidelity InternationalÆs South Korea office since 2002. There, he was instrumental in launching and building the fund houseÆs domestic asset management and distribution business. Under his leadership, assets under management have grown from $60 million to over $7.5 billion.

Hale û who has extensive experience in the fund management industry in Asia, India, Europe and North America û has held several management roles in sales, marketing, systems and operations functions in these markets.

Fidelity InternationalÆs decision to hire Ching to replace Hale reinforces the fund houseÆs commitment to strategically build its presence in Asia over the long-term, says the Fidelity International spokeswoman, despite recent job cuts in the region that were previously reported by AsianInvestor.

ôGiven recent market conditions, the firm has reviewed its internal cost structure in order to ensure that we can continue to provide a cost-effective service to our clients over the longer term. This unfortunately has resulted in some headcount reductions,ö says the Fidelity International spokeswoman. ôThese are small in number and will not negatively impact our clients and will not affect our ability to deliver the quality of investment management and service customers have come to expect from Fidelity.ö

The recent job cuts in Asia didnÆt involve key positions across operations and didnÆt include investment professionals, the spokeswoman notes.

Tokyo-based Brett Goodin is CEO for Asia-Pacific at Fidelity International. Based in Hong Kong, David Holland is COO while John Ford is CIO. Country heads include Madeline Ho for Singapore, Long Zhan for China and David Proud for Korea. There has been no country head for Taiwan since Tai-Chin Tung left for personal reasons earlier this year. Ryan, who joined the fund house in February this year, has been looking after Taiwan concurrent to his regional role.

Fidelity International, which manages more than $198 billion in assets, was established in 1969 and provides asset management services to investors outside the Americas. In the US, Fidelity Investments manages around $1.4 trillion in assets.