Yu Xiaobo, the investment director and head of China business at Value Partners, has resigned from his position and the fund house has appointed William Zhong and Gary Guan as co-heads of its China business, AsianInvestor can reveal.

Yu Xiaobo

Yu had tendered his resignation after deciding to start his own company, having worked at Value Partners for the past 12 years. He is based in both Hong Kong and Shanghai and his last day with Value Partners will be in mid-April 2021, a company spokeswoman said.

While Zhong and Guan carry the titles of co-heads of China business, they are not replacing Yu’s functions. They will provide leadership to Value Partners’ China business, including overseeing all daily operations, but excluding the management of China’s investment team, she said.  

Yu focuses on Value Partners' China onshore investments and the healthcare portfolios. His overall investment duties will be shared among existing portfolio managers and investment specialists, while the healthcare sector coverage and fund will be co-managed by co-chairman and co-chief investment officer Louis So and investment director Michelle Yu, AsianInvestor understands.

William Zhong

Zhong is responsible for all retail distribution and the set-up of the group’s mutual fund company in China, as China permitted foreign firms to establish fund management companies fully owned by them since last year. Guan focuses more on institutional business. Both are based in Shanghai and report to Hong Kong-based co-chairmen and co-chief investment officers Cheah Cheng Hye and Louis So, the spokeswoman said.


 

Zhong joined Value Partners from Harvest Fund Management in January, while Guan was in charge of the sales function in mainland China in his capacity as general manager.

Harvest Fund Management declined to comment on Zhong’s departure, while the Value Partners spokeswoman declined to comment on who would succeed Guan as general manager after his promotion.

Gary Guan

ROUND OF CUTS

The departure of Yu comes after a year of personnel changes in 2020, during which Value Partners made a round of staff cuts amid the pandemic.

Senior departures during this period included Michael Mills, managing director of alternative products, Julie Zhu of the China sales team, and Michael Greenall, Kuala Lumpur-based head of Southeast Asia. In addition Au King-lun, former president and CEO, also left Value Partners in July last year after a few years of upheaval under his leadership. 

While last year was a trying period for its personnel, Value Partners did enjoy some success in the performance of some of its key investment products. Its flagship Value Partners Classic Fund and Chinese Mainland Focus Fund generated net returns of 37.6% and 73.6% in 2020, respectively. Fund product data provider Morningstar ranked the latter as one of the world’s top 10 China funds offered outside of mainland China.

Value Partners' unaudited assets under management stood at $13.4 billion as of February 28.