AsianInvestor conducted a recemt 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 list the eighth and ninth gatekeepers on the list, which is ordered alphabetically. We have already published write-ups for numbers one to seven. The other names are listed at the end of this article, and the full feature appears in the November issue of AsianInvestor magazine.
Head of mutual funds and hedge funds, group wealth management
After 15 years in fund selection, Dany Dupasquier has learned to listen, interpret managers’ feedback and not be overly influenced by past performance.
Previously focused on hedge funds, it was not until he joined StanChart six years ago that he looked at the long-only arena. Scale is a challenge, given that the bank scans thousands of funds and has a broad platform.
But it has reduced the number of funds it distributes and raised the bar for onboarding new providers: either they need to outperform existing managers or show value in asset classes it is not covering yet.
Dupasquier sees his background in hedge funds as an advantage, given wider use of derivatives in mutual funds. “It is important to understand how managers generate returns; that is when you know whether their strategies are sustainable,” he says.
He runs fund due diligence at a group level covering the retail and private bank. The team adopts a quantitative and qualitative approach to take account of performance and risk, examining the quality of portfolio management and ability to generate ideas.
StanChart has a global investment council meeting every month, during which its house view is defined. Typically it recommends two funds per asset class. Its high-conviction list contains about 90 funds, with a focus on 10-15 funds that it thinks are most likely to perform well.
Updated monthly, the list helps the selection team to implement the bank’s house view. Dupasquier says AUM in managed investments is evenly split between funds and discretionary.
Head of alternative investment group, mutual funds and discretionary for Asia Paciﬁc
HSBC Private Bank
Only recently appointed, Sam Edwards (pictured left) came in to replace Henry Lee as HSBC Private Bank’s head product gatekeeper for Asia. He is responsible for finding investment solutions, including long-only funds and alternative investments, for the advisory and discretionary business.
Among the largest private banks in Asia, HSBC adopts a collaborative approach to fund selection. Although the heads of alternative and long-only mutual fund businesses reside in London and Geneva respectively, it has analysts in Asia and the US.
The global team conducts operational due diligence and approval at a fund house level. From this universe a subset of funds are selected for the private bank platform. HSBC has in excess of 100 long-only funds and 30 alternative funds in Asia as part of a high-conviction list, selected by a committee on which Edwards sits.
Asked how to get on the focus list, which is reviewed every quarter, Edwards says: “We try to remove the commercial influence. We focus on two things in selecting the focus list: needs of the client, the appropriateness and quality of the funds; and the views of our investment research.”
He suggests HSBC’s liquid alternative offering – launched this February – differentiates it from investment platforms at other private banks. It comprises five funds offering long/short and multi-manager macro strategies.
On how he works with managers, Edwards adds: “We are open-minded and value partnerships. We like them to understand our business and we like to understand theirs.”
The other individuals identified from the list so far: