Hong Kong-based fund house Value Partners is establishing a presence in Singapore and has brought in Chuck Ng Chek-Siang, formerly of Credit Suisse, to oversee the office, its first in Southeast Asia.
The initial hire of an executive from the sell side suggests the office will be used for distribution. AsianInvestor could not ascertain whether investment capabilities will also be put on the ground there or which licence(s) the firm hopes to obtain.
Ng joined Value Partners this month, having spent nine years at Credit Suisse in Hong Kong. He was most recently head of external asset managers for Asia Pacific at the Swiss bank, servicing family offices and ultra-high-net-worth clients. Before joining Credit Suisse, he worked at Citi as a product manager.
Replacing Ng is Wolfgang Neumann, who joined Credit Suisse in September in Singapore. He was previously Zurich-based head of UBS's ultra-high-net-worth individual business for Austria and Germany.
Neumann spent eight years with UBS Wealth Management, including in Asia in senior roles in Japan and as Asia-Pacific head of risk management. Before that, he had worked at rival Swiss firm Julius Baer.
One likely driver of Value Partners' Singapore move is its being handed Rmb800 million ($131 million) of RQFII quota last month, which it plans to use for an A-share fund; it may be seeking to sell such products to Southeast Asian investors.
This comes after it bought a 49% stake in Shanghai-based KBC Goldstate to create Value Partners Goldstate Fund Management in March 2012.
Chinese fund houses have been mulling setting up offices for similar reasons in the Lion City, which will be receiving Rmb50 billion in RQFII quota. For example, Haitong International set up a branch in Singapore earlier this year.
Value Partners may also be looking to strengthen its coverage of the family office (FO) segment. Given Ng's background of covering FOs, the firm is likely looking to ramp up its marketing to this client segment and thereby expand its presence to South Asia, says an FO executive.
Value Partners declined to comment.
Set up in 1993, the firm runs $9.2 billion in assets with a focus on Greater China. Its products include absolute return long-biased, long/short hedge, exchange-traded, quantitative and fixed income and credit funds. In addition to Hong Kong, Value Partners has offices in Chengdu, Shanghai and Taiwan.