The chief investment officer at China International Fund Management, a joint venture between JPMorgan Asset Management and Shanghai International Trust, has left the firm.

According to the online blog of CEO Mandy Wang, the JVÆs CIO Lv Joon, a key founder of the company back in 2005, has resigned for ôpersonal and health reasonsö, and will be replaced by Sun Yangqun, who is currently the manager of China International's Alpha Equity Fund and Consumption Equity Fund.

Fund managers are in hot demand in Mainland China. Managers seeking better pay, career prospects and investment flexibility are deserting the mutual fund industry for private funds or hedge funds and JV offices in Hong Kong. The turnover at China International is typical. (The September edition of AsianInvestor magazine will feature an in-depth look at portfolio management turnover in China.)

The new CIO, Sun, was educated at Fudan University and is a qualified CPA who joined the firm from Great Wall Invesco Fund Management, where he had run the portfolio of Domestic Consumption Growth Fund, a 2nd best performing fund in the year of its setup in 2004 as the Shanghai market plummeted by 11.2%. His Alpha Equity fund has risen by 86.22% as of June 30 this year.

But the man he is replacing is a star manager in his own right: Lv is China Securities JournalÆs Gold Bull Fund Manager and the Most Popular Fund Manager in China in a poll by Shanghai Securities News. Market sources say he is the latest recruit into ChinaÆs private fund industry, where 40% of the countryÆs fund managers have already joined the field. His China Advantage Fund has been ranked as five-star by the independent rating agency Morningstar.

LvÆs departure marks the second key loss at China International. Earlier in April this year, the company was embroiled in a scandal when its senior fund manager Tang Jian was caught front-running trades by the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

ôThere is no everlasting feast under the sun,ö CEO Mandy Wang says in her blog regarding LvÆs resignation û the Chinese equivalent to ôAll good things must come to an endö.

With assets under management at RMB56 billion ($7.4 billion) and a market share of 3.16%, China International is the second-largest fund management joint venture in China.

Management of LuÆs China Advantage Fund will be taken over by Yang Anle, his current assistant fund manager, and Liang Jun. Yang, a PhD from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, has been a research analyst at ShanghaiÆs Industrial Securities and at Dacheng Fund Management, an ôold-10ö company. He joined China International in 2004, where he has since held the positions of assistant director in research, a sector specialist and assistant fund manager.

His fellow alumni Liang joined China International in March 2007. Prior to this he worked for another Sino-foreign funds JV, ABN Amro Teda Fund Management, running its fixed income and currency portfolio.