Value Partners shakes up leadership team

Out the door go the Hong Kong fund firm's deputy CEO, ETF chief and three others, and in comes a new head of sales, following the arrival in December of new CEO Au King-Lun.
Value Partners shakes up leadership team

Value Partners has hired Wayne Shum to head up sales, as new boss Au King-Lun continues a radical management reshuffle that has already seen deputy chief executive Raymond Tam and head of exchange-traded funds William Chow leave the firm.

Shum, formerly deputy CEO of BOCHK Asset Management, joined Value Partners this month, said a company spokesperson on Monday, without giving a precise date.

That's after Tam and Chow departed in February, according to sources familiar with the Hong Kong-based funds firm, and follows the appointment of Au as CEO in December. Tam previously served as both head of sales and deputy CEO.

Both Tam and Chow are understood to be taking some time off.

The moves at Value Partners form part of a raft of recent personnel changes. Jasmine Hung from the institutional sales team, investment analyst Andrew Lai and head of marketing Anne Lui all headed for the exit door in April, sources familiar with the company said. Value Partners declined to comment on whether they had been replaced.

The changes also follow a tricky period for the firm. Value Partners was fined HK$2 million ($257,818) in late January by Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission for allowing two of its funds – China Greenchip Fund and Greater China High Yield Income Fund – to exceed their authorised share capital. In addition, assets under management fell by 15% in 2016 to $13.2 billion, although these have since rebounded to an unaudited $14.5 billion as of March 31.

Au was previously CEO of Eastspring Investments (Hong Kong), a subsidiary of UK insurance group Prudential. He succeeded Timothy Tse, who resigned in November.

Before that Au was at BOCHK Asset Management, where Shum served as head of institutional business. According to one industry source, it is understood that Shum has not yet been replaced at BOCHK and that his duties have been shared by several managing directors.

Expanded footprint

Commenting on the moves via email when asked by AsianInvestor, the spokesperson for Value Partners said: "To ensure we fully capitalise on the growth potential, we have been constantly reviewing our business strategy and talent pool to maximise the synergy across our business teams in various strategic markets."

One of these strategic markets is mainland China, where Value Partners has been expanding its footprint.

In March, the company set up an investment management wholly foreign-owned enterprise (IM-WFOE) in China. This is the firm's second WFOE in China -- the first being an advisory unit set up in 2011. Earlier, Value Partners was granted a qualified domestic limited partner (QDLP) licence and received $100 million in QDLP quota in October 2015.

The firm hired Roger Hepper, its first group chief operating officer, in August and a new head of Singapore Kenny Tjan in June last year, as reported by AsianInvestor. Hepper was previously Asia-Pacific COO at JP Morgan Asset Management; Tjan was previously Singapore-based chief investment officer at Metisq Capital.

In a separate development, Value Partners tweaked its ETF strategy on May 1 by lowering the management fee of two of its smart-beta ETFs to better target institutional investors. Annual management fees for the Value China ETF and Value China A-Share ETF have been cut to 0.1% from 0.7%.

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