As part of AsianInvestor’s project to identify the most influential fund selectors and distributors across the region, we have identified nine key individuals in Malaysia when it comes to choosing cross-border products, listed alphabetically. This is the the last of five articles covering the profiled gatekeepers.
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. We will follow this with our selections for other markets in Asia in the coming months.
Head of consumer financial services
Fund managers have three contact points at OCBC Bank Malaysia. The most influential is Wyson Lim, who has responsibility for growing the consumer business in Malaysia and oversees the bank’s regional wealth management product strategy, development and advisory units.
Previously he was the head of wealth management business for OCBC Malaysia, having joined OCBC in 2000.
He works closely with colleagues Evelyn Yeo and Saw Yu Ming to determine what goes on the bank’s product shelf. Lim’s role is strategic, Yeo serves as head of wealth management at OCBC Malaysia and Saw as head of unit trusts.
Yeo assumed her post in January last year. She has occupied various roles at OCBC, namely head of bancassurance (2011-2014), vice-president for regional wealth management (2009-2011) and head of structured products (2006-2009). Prior to OCBC, she was a product manager at HSBC.
Saw became head of unit trusts in June 2014. Prior to this he managed all support functions related to product development, including regulatory compliance and operational risk and financials (expenses and reporting) at the bank.
Fund managers note that OCBC products tend to be geared towards sophisticated investors. The bank works with a range of external managers, including AmInvestment, CIMB Principal, Eastspring Investments, Affin Hwang and RHB Asset Management.
Low Kee Fui
Head of investment products and services
Foreign fund companies need to work with a 'fund wrapper' in Malaysia, usually a local asset manager, which in turn provides access to a bank. But when it comes to understanding local demand, many foreigners go straight to Low Kee Fui for advice.
Low is the gatekeeper for fund products at Maybank Malaysia, and oversees a nine-strong team. He joined Maybank a year ago from Hong Leong Asset Management and reports to Eunice Chan, head of high-net-worth and affluent business.
Low doesn’t have automatic approval powers. Getting on Maybank’s shelf requires the go-ahead from several committees as well as from Maybank Singapore, which supports Kuala Lumpur when it comes to selecting offshore fund managers.
But Low has a useful grasp of local demand, thanks to the bank’s sweep: Maybank Malaysia has 110 funds on offer, including international products run by nine foreign houses. Its total fund AUM is M$7 billion, with a bias toward money-market funds.
While Low may not have kingly powers of approving products, he does have a veto: successful managers convince him they have a good handle on risk management and a passion for the industry.