Nikko Asset Management has expanded its sales presence in Hong Kong by adding a head of institutional business for China and Hong Kong and an exchange-traded fund (ETF) specialist, and is understood to be replacing its former Korea institutional client executive.

Mitchelle Zhou, formerly head of China at Dutch fund house Robeco, has joined the Japanese firm in the China/Hong Kong role. Joe Yip has been hired from Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing (HKEx) as an ETF business development executive.

Mitchelle Zhou: Hired to
strengthen China coverage

Both started in September, according to their LinkedIn pages and Hong Kong regulatory records. They join Zhang Yingdong in Hong Kong, who has been institutional business development manager for North Asia since April 2018, her LinkedIn page shows.

Zhou’s role is a newly created one to strengthen client coverage, particularly for China, multiple sources said. 

Zhou left Robeco at the end of March last year after 18 months with the firm, while Yip had spent two years at HKEx as an assistant vice-president, according to his LinkedIn page.

Meanwhile, Nikko AM has appointed an executive to replace Kang Taejong, who had looked after Korean institutional client coverage out of Hong Kong, a source familiar with the matter told AsianInvestor

Joe Yip: ETF specialist

Kang had been institutional business development director since 2017. He left in November to join M&G Investments as institutional sales director in Hong Kong. 

In the newly created role, Kang reports to Jaclyn Lim, M&G's Asia ex-Japan head of institutional sales, a spokesman for the British fund house said. He did not elaborate on who had previously looked after the firm's Korean clients.

M&G Investments – part of M&G PLC, which incorporates insurer Prudential's UK business – has been expanding its investment and sales presence in Asia the past year or two with a view both to managing more of Prudential's assets and to luring in more third-party clients.

Neither Nikko AM nor Robeco could immediately comment. HKEx did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment.