Value Partners has named a new head of sales to replace Wayne Shum, less than a year after he joined the Hong Kong fund house amid a management shake-upAsianInvestor can reveal.

Eric Poon, formerly Asia ex-Japan head of institutional business at Baring Asset Management, started on January 2.

The move is another example of the upheaval taking place at Value Partners, with Chinese conglomerate HNA Group last week withdrawing its bid to buy a majority stake in the firm.

Poon oversees sales and marketing activities covering intermediary, private banking and institutional businesses, a Value Partners spokeswoman told AsianInvestor. He has also worked at UBP Asset Management, BlackRock, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, according to his LinkedIn page.

Baring AM said it could not comment on Poon's departure by press time.

Eric Poon

Shum will depart on January 12. He has decided to retire after taking an interim role in May 2017 to help streamline the sales function, said the spokeswoman. Shum is working closely with Poon to ensure a smooth transition in the leadership of the sales team, she added. 

Value Partners had not specified at the time of Shum's hire that he had taken on a temporary role.

He had been brought in by chief executive Au King-Lun, who himself joined the firm in December 2016 from Eastspring Investments. The two men had worked together at BOCHK Asset Management in the past, Au as CEO and Shum as head of institutional business.

Au’s arrival to replace Timothy Tse had heralded the departure of several senior executives, including (in February) former deputy CEO and head of sales Raymond Tam and head of ETFs William Chow, and (in June) managing director of robo-advisory Lai Voon-San and managing director of China business Albert Teoh

Chow subsequently became the first CEO of Pins Asset Management, the newly created asset management arm of Pins Capital Group, in August last year.

Teoh joined BMO Asset Management as director of Greater China sales in October last year, as first reported by AsianInvestor.

AsianInvestor could not ascertain what Tam and Lai are doing now.

Value Partners has since promoted investment director Yu Xiaobo, in July, to head its onshore China business, for which it won a private fund management licence in November. And in August hired David Quah as co-managing director of quantitative investment solutions.

Meanwhile, Value Partners said in a regulatory filing last Thursday that the termination of the HNA deal was due to “commercial considerations” among the parties involved, without providing more details, reported FinanceAsia, a sister publication to AsianInvestor.

Neither Value Partners chairman Cheah Cheng Hye nor HNA immediately responded to FinanceAsia’s emailed requests for further comment.

The surprise statement from Value Partners contrasts sharply with comments it made last month when it indicated a deal was in the process of being finalised and that the financing and commercial terms were at an advanced stage.