Invesco loses CIO to start up

CIO joins ex-Goldman MD to launch hedge fund.

Another traditional fund manager is leaving a stable job for the high-flying life of hedge funds. Alfred Ho is quitting as Hong Kong CIO at Invesco in Hong Kong to join ex-Goldman Sachs managing director and equities financing head James Sheridan to launch a hedge fund.

One source says Ho is taking two other Invesco investment pros with him, but declined to name them. This could not be verified; another source reports no further resignations at the firm. As CIO, Ho oversees $3 billion out of the firm's $14 billion invested in Asia, Japan and Australia.

Invesco is a very process-oriented firm that can weather the departure of a senior figure. However, its investment team has suffered several senior defections over the past two years. It retains talented stock pickers such as China specialist Billy Chan and Pacific basin portfolio manager Henry Chan, but sources believe its investment pro headcount in Hong Kong has fallen from around 18 to less than 10. Anna Tong is the regional director of investments.

Ho and Invesco regional CEO Andrew Lo did not respond to e-mails or telephone calls, and a spokesman declined to comment. Ho's secretary says the CIO has been "on vacation" for several weeks.

James Sheridan ran Asian equities in Hong Kong for six years, from 1996 to 2002, at which point he moved to London to head up the firm's European equities business. He quit soon after that, however. He has been travelling repeatedly back to Asia to get into the hedge fund business. Sheridan did not respond to enquiries.

Ho has been with Invesco since 1992, before which he was an analyst at WI Carr, and has been in the investment business since 1987.

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