Spy has left his friend’s lofty mansion on The Peak with its sweeping views of Victoria Harbour and descended to his modest apartment among the hoi-polloi and a view of sagging pink and blue laundry from his grimy 9th story apartment window. He has swapped vintage Bordeaux for supermarket beer and come back to earth with a bump. Like stellar fund performance turned sour, all good things must come to an end, eventually. Still, Spy is consoled that he is not a bond fund manager expecting a raise in interest rates any time soon. That is looking as likely as Park n Shop offering a real discount, or an Italian bank having performing loans.
Schroders has been on a little hiring spree, hears Spy. Ginie Lam, a veteran of Hong Kong’s fund marketing scene, has joined as head of Hong Kong and China marketing. Ginie has held roles at Invesco, Manulife AM and others. Luisa Romero has joined as head of market intelligence for Asia, a new role for Schroders in the region. Ginie and Luisa are both based in Hong Kong. Additionally, Showbhik Kalra, has been made head of intermediaries in Asia for Schroders. Showbhik is based in Singapore. No news yet about head of Asia-Pacific marketing, however, a role that has been vacant for a while.
JP Morgan Asset Management has pinched a marketing person from Invesco, Spy hears. Flora Chiu has taken on the role of regional marketing manager for APAC. Flora is based in JPM’s Hong Kong office and reports to Gloria Chung, chief marketing officer for APAC, who joined earlier this year, as your humble Spy previously reported.
Meanwhile, as reported in FSA’s sister publication Portfolio Adviser, Aviva Investors has pinched a player from the Schroders team. Byrony Deuchars joins the Aviva emerging markets equities team as a portfolio manager in London. Aviva Investors has been expanding aggressively since Euan Munroe has taken the CEO helm, beefing up capability in a number of areas, most notably absolute return.
Spy found himself being invited to join Maybank’s new private wealth management lifestyle service, which supposedly matches one’s interests with their own carefully curated news and opinion. Apparently, what someone in Maybank’s PWM marketing department thinks wealthy individuals really need is their private bank to give them “handpicked news and views” and invitations to semi-exclusive events (read: sales opportunity for their marketing partner). Spy has some (no doubt unwanted) advice for private banks: stick to what you do best – manage clients’ money! Make them loads and loads of it, nurture and care for it, risk manage it and don’t waste it. Then your clients can use that money to buy services and products from companies that truly specialise in lifestyle enhancements. You want interesting and cool opinion? Read Monocle. You want good wine? Go to Berry Brothers & Rudd. You want an exclusive adventure holiday? Engage with Abecrombie & Kent. The Spy will say it once again: a wealth manager should act like a wealth manager.
Much was made of Blackrock having some pretty big outflows last year and its share price took a bit of a beating, falling as low as $275. Well, quietly, the ‘Rock has been getting investors excited again and their shares are back to an almost one year high, trading at about $356. Money has been flowing back in and it has made Blackrock one of the better performing listed asset managers. Larry Fink has not been buying this recent strong rally in the broader market though. He told CNBC’s Squawkbox on Thursday, “I don't think we have enough evidence to justify these levels in the equity market at this moment.”
If Hong Kong, Singapore and Luxembourg are getting excited that Brexit will damage the UK’s global leadership position in asset management, they may need to have another think. Perhaps unnoticed (or ignored) by the wider world, but not by Spy, is that Theresa May, the UK’s new prime minister, is married to a man in the industry. Philip May is a senior executive at Capital Group, the US funds giant with about $1.4trn in assets. Spy is not for one second suggesting Mr. May, a pensions expert, is going to be making UK policy. But it is inconceivable that PM Theresa does not have a good grasp of the industry and its needs with that regular dinner companion.
Spy’s photographers nabbed a taxi carrying Allianz GI’s continuing ad campaign, which rides on various forms of Hong Kong transportation with the broad message that active investing is "within your grasp”:
Also caught riding SAR transportation was Fidelity, telling Hong Kong residents that the firm could "help fulfill one’s personal dreams through investment":
Until next week, enjoy the summer and drink a craft beer for your Spy…