Lindsay Wright exits Matthews Asia as its assets plunge

The US fund house’s Asia chief and global chief operating officer has departed after a year-and-half in the role, along with a fixed income strategist.
Lindsay Wright exits Matthews Asia as its assets plunge

Matthews Asia’s head of Asia and global chief operating officer, Lindsay Wright, has moved on after 19 months with the US fund house. Her departure comes as Matthews reported a torrid first three months for 2020, during which its assets under management plunged by around a quarter.

The institutional veteran’s tenure ended last month, according to her LinkedIn profile, after she had joined in September 2018 to help develop the long-term business strategy and global operating plan.

San Franciso-based Matthews Asia had hired Wright in Hong Kong to spearhead expansion in the region at the same time as it announced the opening of offices in Shanghai and Singapore.

Lindsay Wright

However, the equity strategy-heavy firm’s AUM has fallen 27.5% from $27.3 billion to $19.8 billion in the three months to March 31 amid the global stock market crash sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic. Matthews focuses on Asian assets, and the MSCI Asia Pacific index fell 19.21% during that first quarter. The firm had AUM of $33 billion at the time Wright joined.

The first-quarter fall in AUM was mostly due to market volatility, Matthews Asia told AsianInvestor, and market conditions in Asia have improved since the end of March.

"Lindsay's departure was a result of a realignment of responsibilities," the company said. Wong Hur-Ming, Asia head of sales, retains regional distribution and client service responsibilities, while chief executive Bill Hackett now oversees overall strategy in Asia. 

Meanwhile, fixed income strategist Nick Walker has also departed, after around six months with Matthews. He had previously worked at Hong Kong-based asset manager Income Partners. Matthews declined to comment on whether he would be replaced.

The regulatory licences of Wright and Walker with Matthews Asia ceased on March 10 and March 18, respectively, by Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission records.

AsianInvestor could not ascertain whether either had any new job roles lined up. Wright remains an independent director at New Zealand's stock exchange, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Neither immediately responded to requests for comment sent via LinkedIn.  

With some 30 years’ investment industry experience, Wright has also held roles including Asia Pacific head of distribution at BNY Mellon Investment Management, and Asia Pacific head of institutional, alternatives and investment solutions at Invesco.

She has also been chief executive of Harvest Alternative Investments Group and spent some 10 years with Deutsche Asset Management, including as global head of business development.

This article has been updated to include comments from Matthews Asia about how Wright's duties were being dealt with after her departure.

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