As part of AsianInvestor’s project to identify the most influential fund selectors and distributors across the region, here we name our selection of the key individuals in Malaysia who determine cross-border product placement and flows, listed alphabetically.
For more background on our criteria for selection and the first profile (of Chan Ai Mei of Affin Hwang Asset Management), click here. The full list for Malaysia will appear in the March issue of the magazine.
AsianInvestor published a list of the 25 most influential fund selectors across the markets of Hong Kong and Singapore in our November 2015 magazine issue and over the following weeks online (the final two and the full list appeared online on December 23).
Head of managed investment and product management
Standard Chartered Bank
Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia segments clients based on their total net worth, including offshore assets. The wealthiest clients have foreign exposures and are usually eligible under Malaysian rules for being pitched structured products, bonds and unit trusts.
StanChart, therefore, has a broad selection of ringgit- and foreign-currency-denominated funds, for mass-affluent and rich retail customers. It makes foreign products available on its feeder structure.
Fund selection is determined by teams in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, with the former handling top-down views and the latter specific products.
Malaysian national Danny Chang has done both. Before assuming his role in 2014, he spent four years with the bank in Singapore as director for investment advisory and strategy. He had previously worked at OCBC and Citi in Malaysia, building investment products and advising wealthy customers. In fact, Chang worked at Citi alongside two others to feature on our list, Jeremy Ho (see below) and Gary Yong (to appear later in the list).
Today, as StanChart’s key fund selector in Malaysia, Chang is looking to meet demand by finding products with absolute returns, in both equity and fixed income. He wants to work with asset managers that demonstrate sustainable outperformance.
Since returning to Malaysia, Chang has introduced telephone-based subscriptions and redemptions, added multi-asset funds with an income orientation and introduced foreign-currency share classes.
Head of investment business for wealth management products
External fund managers say Citi has become a major force in the sale of fund products in Malaysia. “If you look at the funds business of Citi, it has grown tremendously. It is the leader in this industry,” said one local fund manager.
A trio of executives had led this business: Danny Chang (see profile above), Jeremy Ho and Gary Yong. Chang and Yong have since left to pursue their careers at other banks, Standard Chartered and CIMB, respectively. Yong also made AsianInvestor’s list.
That has left Ho in the driver’s seat, to the extent that fund managers have asked him not to leave. “He’s the only one we know at Citibank,” one manager told AsianInvestor.
Ho is understood to play a major role in the funds business, not just selecting products but also in growing the pie.
“He is very professional and very focused on growth. The bank has stringent criteria in selecting funds and managers,” said the fund manager.