Sam Lau, senior portfolio manager at HSBC Investments in Hong Kong, has left to join the joint venture between Bank of China International and the UK's Prudential Asset Management. Lau will take up the role of chief investment officer, replacing Lionel Kwok, who had the role since the JV's inception in 2000.
BoCI-Pru was established for the Mandatory Provident Fund industry, although with $3 billion of assets under management, it continues to explore ways of entering the mainland market. Parent BoCI, however, has a funds JV with Merrill Lynch in Shanghai.
Kwok resigned over the summer and this month began working at Fortis Bank as managing director and head of global markets for Asia. Although he has moved to the sell side, running trading desks in forex, money markets, bonds, and equities, he comes with a strong derivatives background. He rose through the ranks of JPMorgan's treasury desk and introduced a strong derivatives-based method of asset management to BoCI-Pru, including offering structured products. He now oversees a 70 person-strong team, with offices in Shanghai, Singapore and Taipei.
Lau is expected to start work at BoCI-Pru in December, says Oscar Wong, the JV's president and CEO. "He will pick up where Lionel left off," Wong says, noting that the firm has no need for additional hires in the 20-strong investment team.
Lau is an ex-Baring Asset Management professional who has run Asian equities for HSBC for many years. HSBC reportedly had considered Lau for the CIO role in its new JV in Shanghai with Shanxi Trust, but Lau opted to remain in Hong Kong. HSBC is still looking for a mainland CIO.