One of the stars of the new book, The Super Analysts - a book about the investment philosophies of the best research analysts in the world - has left ING Barings to join Lotus Asset Management. Jolyon Petch, the top-rated Indonesia and Korea expert will be reunited with his old colleague from Peregrine, Paul Pheby, who runs Lotus.
At ING Barings, Petch was the head of Hong Kong research and was about to become head of Hong Kong and China Equity. At Lotus he will work alongside Pheby producing detailed research on the firmÆs public and private investments.
When Peregrine went bankrupt a fluttering diaspora of Peregrine talent was spread far and wide. Among others, Petch left for ING Barings and Pheby set up Lotus. Pheby was formerly the boss of PeregrineÆs Korean operations, a role that saw Peregrine build one of the strongest foreign franchises of any firm in Seoul. The firm even had the gusto to venture into North Korea, where the buccaneering Pheby set up an office.
Petch worked with Pheby in Korea, where he headed up equity research. They made an excellent team. Petch is now well-known around Hong Kong for his frank analysis and for being evicted from Indonesia for his prescient views on certain companies in the headily insane days before the financial crisis.
Indeed, for those who have read The Super Analysts, it should come as no surprise that the talented and clear-thinking Petch has left the sellside for the buyside. Interviewed in the book by his then ING Barings colleague, Andrew Leeming, he is asked at one point whether the increase in investment banking corporate finance work is a threat to the brokerage analystÆs objectivity? To this he replies: "We may see a rise in boutique research houses as a result of this trend, but I think we will also see that the better and more objective analysts will go over to the buyside."
In PetchÆs case, that was a prediction that came true remarkably quickly.