The Spy was on holiday last week, but he’s back and in top form leafing through a full dossier…
As reported by Spy a few weeks ago, Alex Kwan former fund selector at HSBC Private Bank in Singapore, is on the move. He has surfaced at LGT Private Bank where his new role will encompass both fund selection and advisory duties. He will be working with Kelly Chung in Hong Kong and Simon Grose-Hodge and team in Singapore.
Hermes Investment Management is expanding the sales team in Singapore with a new hire who joined this week. Brian Sng, formerly of M&G Investments, has joined Hermes to support Jake Nilsson as they expand their wholesale offering.
Korea-based asset manager Mirae has appointed Theresa Yu as their new corporate communications manager. Theresa will be based in Hong Kong working with Ashley Dale and Sabrina Kwek.
Spy has learned that Guy Medcraft, Asia regional head of wealth platform Hansard, has stepped down after three years. Guy, a long-time Asia veteran, has had previous roles at Emirates NDB and Commerzbank. Hansard has appointed Tommy So as Hong Kong-based head of business development. Tommy moves across from CTA specialist Superfund in Hong Kong.
After a few weeks of silence, Schroders has confirmed that Grace Ho has indeed resigned and will be replaced in due course. Spy tips his hat to his trusted source who accurately shared the news a few weeks ago...Spy also notes that Schroders has taken up residence in their swanky new offices at Capita Green in Singapore. All change!
Meanwhile Spy reads in International Adviser, FSA’s sister publication, a report that Walter Jopp of Zurich Global Life has moved from Hong Kong to Dubai to take up a new role of head of market management.
Spy had need of hard cash last week and was withdrawing money from his trusty UOB ATM at Promenade MRT when much to his surprise, Damien Mooney, the energetic and globetrotting Asia-Pacific head of retail sales and marketing at BlackRock, appeared on a TV screen above the ATM promoting income solutions.
Impatient to cross a road in the city-state, Spy was almost run over by a bright yellow taxi bearing an Allianz Global Investors advert with generic investment messaging. Perhaps Spy needs a new magnifying glass.
Hong Kong-based Value Partners first half results released yesterday showed net sales and AUM hitting record highs and a tripling of net profit compared to the first six months of 2014. However, that was before the market quake erupted in China. "Entering the second half of the year, market volatility edged up and might post uncertainties to our near-term business outlook," said the CEO Timothy Tse.
What is the worst mutual fund in the world? The Spy has pondered that question endlessly. Now Chicago-based Fund Reference has found it. Don’t worry, Asia marketing teams, no crisis meeting needs to be called. It’s not for sale out here.
The worst fund in the world is an index tracker: The Great-West S&P 500 Index Fund. Why is it the worst? It’s a mutual fund that charges an annual 0.60% expense ratio to replicate the S&P 500.
“Like other well run index funds, [the Great-West product] lags behind its related benchmark every year by an amount equal to the expense ratio,” Fund Reference reports.
“What rational investor would choose to pay 60 basis points annually when there are otherwise identical products available at less than one-fifth of the price?”
None of that nonsense out in Asia...right?