Invesco lifts BEA fund manager team

And it promotes Kerry Ching to become Hong Kong and Singapore CEO.

Invesco has moved quickly to fill the gaping hole in its portfolio management team caused by a mass defection to Baring Asset Management last month. It has in turn lifted the team from Asia Strategic Investment Management (ASIM) in Hong Kong, which had acted as investment advisor to Bank of East Asia's line of mutual funds.

ASIM's three founders, James Cheng, Patrick Shum and Peter Woo, will join Invesco in the near future, although an Invesco spokeswoman could not specify when. ASIM's telephone number was disconnected so calls to the fund managers could not be made.

James Cheng will become CIO at Invesco Asia in Hong Kong. He is expected to replace Singaporean Tan See-Wee, whose future plans are not clear, but whose brief sting as CIO in Hong Kong this year has not worked out.

Meanwhile Patrick Shum will be based in Shenzhen, where he will serve as CIO to joint venture company Invesco Great Wall. Peter Woo will be based in Singapore where as investment director he will look after Asian equities.

In addition, Invesco has hired Samantha Ho in Hong Kong from Manulife Asset Management, where as executive director she had managed the insurer's Greater China equities portfolio - a task she'll continue at Invesco.

Meanwhile, Invesco has promoted Kerry Ching, its head of institutional business, to CEO for Hong Kong and Singapore, reporting to Andrew Lo, CEO for Asia-Pacific. Ching has been with the firm for five years. She had previously worked at the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission.

Last year, Edith Ngan had resigned as Hong Kong CEO and Lo had assumed those responsibilities. Invesco's spokeswoman says the appointment is designed to put a reliable and experienced manager in place in Hong Kong to help drive the firm's Greater China strategy. "Hong Kong has extensive operations and it is a reference point for our Greater China business, so it is natural to have a strong leader in Hong Kong," she says. Ching will continue to have day-to-day responsibility for institutional business.

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