Real estate fund manager PGIM has brought on board veteran finance executive Sun Hao to bolster its operation in mainland China, according to an announcement by the division of Prudential Financial this past week.
Sun joins PGIM in Shanghai as head of the company’s Institutional Relationship Group for China, a newly created role reporting to Philip Hsin, head of institutional relationships for Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) at the investment manager.
The appointment comes as China’s opening up of its asset management industry to foreign players has seen giants from the US and the UK push to establish footholds in the world’s second-largest economy.
Building Relationships with Mainland Institutions
“As part of PGIM’s long-term commitment to the Chinese market, Sun’s appointment will deepen our existing client relationships, while also identifying new opportunities,” PGIM Chief Executive Officer David Hunt said in a statement.
Sun, who holds a bachelor’s degree from Peking University and an MBA from the China Europe International Business School in Shanghai, had formerly served as general manager for US investment manager Legg Mason in Shanghai. Sun has also previously worked with institutional clients in roles with AllianceBernstein, Amundi, PIMCO and ING Bank.
“Sun’s depth of knowledge across the investment management landscape in China will enable him to play a vital role in supporting PGIM to grow its asset base from Chinese clients primarily in the outbound market, across the suite of PGIM’s investment capabilities, including public equity, public and private fixed income, real estate equity and debt, and alternatives,” PGIM’s Hsin said.
Aiming to Manage Chinese Funds
In October of last year the China Securities Regulatory Commission announced that foreign firms would be eligible to operate wholly owned fund management operations, as the country gradually liberalises its finance industry.
“As one of the fastest growing asset management markets globally, China is a key strategic priority for PGIM, and we believe that our deep expertise across public and private assets, combined with our scale, positions us to meet the evolving needs of China’s client base,” PGIM’s Hunt said.
PGIM currently operates in the Chinese market through several of its wholly owned affiliates and manages assets on behalf of Chinese institutions.
PGIM has had a direct presence in China since 2004 through its Shanghai-based Everbright PGIM Fund Management Co joint venture, with that cooperative effort with Everbright Securities now managing over $20 billion in assets, according to the company.