Sandra Lee has left JF Asset Management for cross-town rival HSBC Asset Management, where she assumes a newly created role to oversee the retail business, says Paul Chow, CEO at HSBC Asset Management in Hong Kong. HSBC Asset Management has about $126 billion of assets under management.

Lee held the high-profile role of head of brand development and strategic planning at JF, a job she held since 1999. Earlier in her career she worked in product development and retail sales for JF and its affiliate Jardine Matheson. Lee also ran institutional marketing at Templeton Franklin Investment Services in 1998.

Her appointment follows Chow's hiring of Eugene Chen two months ago. Chen, the former Hong Kong managing director at Barra, is regional director with the mandate to develop the firm's business in other Asian markets.

She slots alongside King Au, who has overseen the institutional side of the business for several years.

"We wanted to streamline and focus our retail business, with one lady in charge of five departments," says Chow. Lee oversees divisions covering retail asset management, marketing services, product development, marketing promotion/corporate communications and e-business commerce. "She's just like straight-through processing in operations," he says. "That's everything except the investment process, and the back office."

Lee remains chairman of the unit trust sub-committee at the Hong Kong Investment Funds Association.