Chinese firm E Fund Management has lost its global head of sales and marketing, Eugene Lee, after less than four months in the role, AsianInvestor has learned.

Just this August E Fund announced that it had hired Lee in a drive to expand internationally, as reported. However, Lee resigned for personal reasons last week, it has emerged.

E Fund says it has no immediate plans to hire a replacement for the role. Managing director and fund manager Nathan Lin, who oversees global investment products, will assume responsibility for overseas institutional business.

The firm now has three people in its business development and marketing team in Hong Kong, with director Alex Sun in charge of retail and institutional distribution in the city.

Lee’s departure is sudden, given that he only joined in August this year. At that time he told AsianInvestor that E Fund’s RMB-denominated qualified foreign institutional investor (RQFII) licence was one of the reasons he decided to join the firm.

“This is exclusive to Chinese asset managers and E Fund is the second largest fund management company in China. The growth opportunity is huge,” he stated back in August.

“E Fund is entering the next phase of its international development and I am here to help with the overseas expansion. Currently most of our clients are multinational firms situated in Asia. Now we are looking at institutional investors in the US, Latin America and the Middle East.”

E Fund has launched two RQFII products. It says it has fully utilised its Rmb1.1 billion quota for its RQFII bond fund, as well as its Rmb5 billion quota for its CSI100 ETF. The fund house is seeking fresh quota for both products.

When Lee joined E Fund he took over from Marie Chew, who left in August also for personal reasons. Previously he was Asia head of equities for BBVA Asia, but left in May this year after two-and-a-half years at the firm.

BBVA Asia is in the process of closing its equity derivatives business in Asia, and this year slashed its equity sales and structuring team. Lee was one of the few survivors, as reported.

Before that he was head of structured products at HSBC, structured product sales at JP Morgan and head of UHNW and institutional sales at Morgan Stanley.