Report: CIC's head of European PE leaving

China's sovereign wealth fund is reportedly losing its head of European private equity only five months after he assumed the role.

Collin Lau, China Investment Corporation's European head of private equity, has resigned after only five months in the position, according to media reports.

CIC did not respond to repeated requests for confirmation.

Lau opted not to renew his three-year employment contract with the sovereign wealth fund and said “personal and family reasons” were behind his decision to resign, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed sources. 

Lau was formerly CIC's global head of real estate investment, but he came from a private equity background. He joined the state fund in February 2009 from Starr International Asia, part of private financial conglomerate Starr International Group, where he spent three years leading its Asian private equity platform. Prior to that he was managing director and chairman of the portfolio management committee of Baring Private Equity Asia in Hong Kong.

During Lau’s time as head of global real estate, many of CIC’s investments produced high IRRs as a result of putting to work the firm’s ample capital sources in the immediate aftermath of the start of the global financial crisis, sister publication Pere reported.

In December 2011, when Lau assumed the role of European head of private equity, his replacement as head of global real estate, Patrick Wu, resigned after only two months in the position.

CIC was created by the Chinese government in 2007 and was tasked with diversifying China’s foreign exchange holdings and obtaining higher risk-adjusted returns. It has $460 billion in assets under management with 7 percent or $32 billion allocated to private equity, according to sister data service PE Connect.