Manulife Asset Management has seen two senior asset allocation specialists leave in recent weeks, one of whom has moved back to rival fund house Fidelity International in what is understood to be a newly created role.

Charlotte Chan joined Fidelity in Hong Kong from Manulife AM this month. A source identifed her new role as head of investment solutions for Greater China, reporting to Dominic Wong, head of intermediary business.

Chan had worked at Manulife AM as Hong Kong-based managing director for asset allocation and international strategies since July last year, according to her LinkedIn page. Before that she had worked for Fidelity for around five years, including as investment director for Hong Kong institutional business. 

Fidelity International has also hired Raymond Chan in Hong Kong as client director for intermediaries. He was previously director of financial intermediaries at Janus Henderson Investors in the same city since May 2013 and before that an investment counsellor at HSBC, according to his LinkedIn page.

Fidelity confirmed both executives joined in November but declined to confirm their titles or provide further information.

Janus Henderson did not provide a response to a query about Raymond Chan by press time.

Meanwhile, Peter Warnes, formerly Hong Kong-based senior managing director and head of the portfolio solutions group for international markets at Manulife AM, has also moved on. His regulatory licence with the firm ended on October 24.

A Manulife AM spokesman declined to comment on the departure. AsianInvestor could not ascertain if Warnes had anything else lined up.

He had joined the firm since August 2014, including as a responsible officer since May last year. Before that Warnes had worked in Hong Kong at JP Morgan Asset Management managing global equity and multi-asset products. He has also worked at Invesco and Sun Alliance Investment Management.

Multi-asset investment has been a major area of expansion for fund houses in Asia in the past year or so, with big remuneration rises being offered to lure specialists. The trend has been driven by an increased focus on stable income and dampening portfolio volatility.

Asset allocation solutions experts, who can help clients to customise portfolios, have been in especially high demand.

Allianz Global Investors, Fullerton, Pictet and Schroders are among the fund houses to have added multi-asset expertise in Asia this year.

Moreover, market observers argued the popularity of multi-asset solutions will drive the development of more sophisticated technology, which is needed for more complex portfolios.

Likewise, they said, technology advances—such as in artificial intelligence, machine learning and algorithmic strategies— will allow asset managers to develop a wider range of different portfolios and types of products.