Following the suspension of portfolio managers Kevin Chang and Wilson Wong last week, Fidelity is enduring yet more personnel shocks. Julie Koo, Fidelity's one-time Asia head of institutional business in Hong Kong, is leaving after 15 years at the US firm.
AsianInvestor readers report that boss man Carlo Venes threw a big bash in Koo's honour at Exchange Square venue Aria. Venes took on Koo's role as head of institutional business shortly after his arrival in July 2008, joining not long after then-CEO Chris Ryan. Koo became an executive director of institutional business thereafter, responsible mainly for South Asia, where Fidelity's institutional footprint had been relatively light.
Koo confirms she has handed in her resignation, but is tight-lipped on her next destination. She would only divulge that she will stay in Hong Kong and join a global asset management house in a similar institutional sales role.
She joined Fidelity in 1995. Her career at the US shop spanned the Boston head office, London and Hong Kong. Koo arrived in the Hong Kong office in 2006, reporting to then Asia managing director Evan Hale. Hale has since resigned and moved to Fitch early last year.
Megan Aitken, Fidelity's spokeswoman in Hong Kong, says a replacement for Koo will be announced shortly.
Her resignation adds to a list of recent departures from the institutional sales team in Hong Kong. Other veterans who have taken flight include Eric Fu, Anthony Ho and Conrad Cheng.
Eric Fu moved to a mainland 'old-10' firm, China Southern, in 2007, but is known to have exited Southern late last year and returned to Hong Kong.
Cheng moved to State Street Global Advisors (SSgA) in 2008, where he stayed for a year before rejoining Fidelity's institutional team in August 2009, only to quit again by the end of the year. He has recently been made chief investment officer at Lippo Investment Management, reporting to chief executive Stanley Kwok, a former SSgA portfolio manager.
In the meantime, Chris Ryan, Asia-Pacific CEO of Fidelity between February 2008 and late 2009, is said to be close to signing a senior position in Singapore. Ryan could not be reached for comment.