Newly-merged Aberdeen Standard names China head

Amy Wang, former head of institutional business for Greater China at Amundi Pioneer Asset Management, has been brought on to strengthen the firm’s relationships with Chinese high net worth individuals and institutional investors.

Aberdeen Standard Investments, the £11 billion ($14 billion; €12 billion) merger between Standard Life Investments and Aberdeen Asset Management, has appointed Amy Wang to head its onshore China business.

Wang will join the firm’s Shanghai office on 1 September as its senior representative in China, and also act as general manager of its Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise (WFOE) Aberdeen Asset Management (Shanghai). Fund managers with WFOE licence are allowed to raise funds onshore and invest capital without taking up a Chinese partner.

Aberdeen was the first foreign firm to establish a WFOE which permits it to launch China-focused investment products and manage assets directly on behalf of Chinese high net worth and institutional investors.

“Amy's deep knowledge and experience of the regulatory as well as market environment will be a benefit as we look to strengthen both our existing relationships with clients in China and build new ones – particularly among sovereign funds, financial institutions and insurance firms,”Alexis Ng, head of distribution, Asia Pacific of Aberdeen Standard Investments, said in a statement.

Funds managed by Standard Life and Aberdeen are primarily backed by US and UK pension funds such as San Bernardino County Employees' Retirement Association and Surrey County Pension Fund, according to PEI data.

Wang joins from Amundi Pioneer Asset Management where she was head of institutional business for Greater China. Prior to joining Amundi, Wang was chief representative in Beijing for Templeton International for 12 years. Earlier in her career, she worked as an associate director at Fitch Ratings, and as an economist at the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC.

Prior to the merger, Aberdeen had been an active private equity investor in the Asia-Pacific region and as of 31 March 2017, the firm has made commitments to China-focused firm Hony Capital and Legend Capital, Australian firms Archer Capital and Anchorage Capital Partners as well as Indonesia’s Saratoga Capital and NSI Ventures. In the first quarter of the year, the firm also completed a co-investment alongside Redview Capital into West Hills, California-based Source Photonics, a manufacturer of specialist electronics components for data centres, at a 7x EV/EBITDA valuation.

In terms of Asia-Pacific private equity, Standard Life has not yet been active in the markets.

Standard Life and Aberdeen completed their merger on 14 August, creating Europe’s second-biggest fund manager with £670 billion under management. The firm’s private equity and infrastructure businesses will be combined post-merger. Peter McKellar, currently head of SL Capital at Standard Life Investments, will assume the role of global head of private and infrastructure equity.

Aberdeen Standard Investments manages more than £300 billion of private equity assets.