AsianInvestor conducted a recent project to identify the most influential protagonists in fund selection and distribution in Hong Kong and Singapore. You can find more background on the project by clicking here.
Here we unveil the 14th and 15th gatekeepers on the list, which is ordered alphabetically. We have already published write-ups for numbers one to 13 (see the list at the end of this article). The full feature appears in the November issue of AsianInvestor magazine.
Head of partnership, product and platform development for wealth and asset management Manulife Asset Management
Canadian insurer Manulife is repositioning its business globally, having identified Asia and global wealth and asset management as its two core drivers of future growth.
This February it merged its Asian wealth and asset management units to streamline customer engagement with its range of strategies, from life insurance and pension solutions to unit-linked funds.
It has signed new distribution deals with the likes of DBS, Standard Chartered and Indonesia's Bank Danamon and in September hired Bruno Lee to expand intermediary channels, securing new partners and developing its wholesale capabilities.
Lee is in charge of all product development, which cuts across retail and institutional segments and both direct and partnership business. Further, he is in charge of Asia investment management services, which includes manager selection, performance monitoring and manager review across platforms.
So his role encompasses both buy- and sell-side. He supports all channels, including inhouse product development and wrapping for pensions, investment-linked insurance products and direct fund sales.
Manulife has a strong position in Hong Kong’s Mandatory Provident Fund market and ambitions to capitalise on defined contribution pension reforms to penetrate other Asian markets.
It is also intent on growing in direct distribution through its 60,000-strong agency sales force and sees the cross-border mutual recognition scheme as a big opportunity for purpose-building its Hong Kong platform.
Lee is highly experienced, having previously worked as Asia ex-Japan head of retail at Fidelity and Asia-Pacific head of wealth management at HSBC.
Head of investment products and advisory business
Hang Seng Bank
Having joined Hang Seng Bank in 1996, Rosita Lee Pui Shan has occupied various roles at the bank, which ranks among the top five in Hong Kong by assets.
She is now head of investment products and advisory business, responsible for the development, selection and due diligence of wealth management for Hang Seng’s retail, corporate and institutional clients. Lee (pictured left) is also a director of Hang Seng Investment Management, a wholly owned subsidiary of the bank.
Hang Seng had HK$1.3 trillion ($168 billion) in assets as at June 30 this year. Retail funds are a driver of its wealth management business, with fund income for the first half of 2015 rising 18% yearon-year to more than HK$1 billion.
But it is known to be picky with the providers it uses. Although it offers about 400 funds, it only works with 20 fund houses, both large international brands and boutiques.
Hang Seng’s platform includes funds from all asset classes and a range of geographies, indexed funds, and Capital Investment Entrant Scheme funds. It has plans to add funds under the Hong Kong-China mutual recognition of funds scheme.
Lee places strong emphasis on the importance of after-sales support from fund providers. “Firstly the funds should perform well. Secondly providers have to commit to helping support sales. Experience has taught me that a sustainable fund business model relies on the bank and fund house working together to market products, educate customers and provide after-sales support.”
The other individuals identified from the list so far: