Famous fund manager Wang Yawei looks set to launch a new private equity fund in China with a fundraising target of up to $1 billion as early as this month.

Wang is targeting high-net-worth individuals via the fund, with a minimum investment threshold of Rmb10 million ($1.6 million). The collective strategy looks set to be distributed via CMB’s private bank, pending final agreement.

Regarded as something of a big brother in China’s mutual fund industry, Wang was deputy general manager at China Asset Management Company, the nation’s largest manager by assets.

The China AMC Large-cap Select Fund he managed posted a 690% return from May 2006 to May 2012, while the China AMC Select Strategy Fund, the other fund he ran, returned 126% from October 2008 to May 2012.

However, in the first quarter of this year both funds underperformed. The large-cap product reported a 0.66% return over the period, while the select strategy returned 1.99% – compared with 4.65% for the CSI 300.

Wang quit China AMC earlier this year after 14 years with the firm, as reported. Since then media speculation has been rife that he planned to join a private equity fund.

In September Wang set up Qianhe Capital Management in Shenzhen, and late last month he established Top Ace Asset Management in Hong Kong with a type 9 (asset management) licence.

Top Ace is a Greater China-focused long/short hedge fund. Its chief operating officer and head of investor relations is Peter Chang, who has previously worked as head of investor relations at Seven Voyagers Management and chief operating officer in Chater Capital Advisors.

It is understood that Wang’s first PE fund product will invest in China’s domestic market and he is in talks with CMB’s private bank to distribute the product, reports Southern Metropolis Daily.

The newspaper says the fund is likely to be under Rmb1 billion, with investors not allowed to commit more than  20% of their personal assets – meaning Wang’s target investors will be those with not less than Rmb500 million.

At present the investment threshold for sunshine PE funds is Rmb8 million, with the average fund Rmb100 million in size. So if Wang’s fund approaches Rmb1billion in AUM it will become one of the largest funds of its kind, notes Cindy Qu, analyst at Shanghai-based consultancy Z-Ben Advisors.

Chinese media has now started to speculate on who is investing in Wang’s new fund. Earlier this month it was reported that a couple of wealthy Chinese investors had met Wang in Shenzhen and had committed Rmb2 billion.

Staff at Top Ace Asset Management in Hong Kong declined to comment for this story.