Asset management giant BlackRock on Wednesday named veteran finance executive Tony Tang as its new head of China, as the US-based firm continues to ramp up its presence in the world’s second-largest economy.
The 46-year-old, who since May last year served as CEO of the Hong Kong operation of mainland firm GF Securities, will step into his new role as of July 1st, when he will be expected to oversee implementation of the company’s stated goal of becoming the leading global asset manager in China.
Tang, whose name in Chinese is Tang Xiaodong , also spent nearly four years with state-owned China Asset Management Co Ltd. In his new role, Tang will be reporting to Geraldine Buckingham, BlackRock’s chair and head of Asia Pacific.
BlackRock Prioritises Mainland Opportunity
BlackRock, which had $6.52 trillion in global assets under management at the end of last month, had only $471 billion of AUM in Asia, or less than 7 percent of its total, as of the end of 2018. Now Tang’s appointment fits into what the company had made clear is a greater emphasis on the region, and on China in particular.
“China is a strategic priority for us and we remain very engaged in pursuing our long-term strategy in this key market,” BlackRock’s global CEO Larry Fink said in a statement announcing Tang’s appointment.
Earlier this month Fink indicated in the company’s annual report that China is “one of the largest future growth opportunities for BlackRock,” where it has long been an investor but only began operating as an asset manager in recent years.
In July last year, BlackRock began marketing its first onshore fund in China, working together with mainland finance giant CITIC Securities to offer its China A-Share Opportunities Private Fund 1 to local clients.
In the first week of April BlackRock gave greater freedom to Buckingham, who stepped into the top regional role in February, to make decisions within the region, stating in an internal memo cited by the Nikkei Asian Review that its APAC chair now takes “primary responsibility” the company’s institutional business within her domain.
Veteran of New York, Beijing and Hong Kong
With the China operations of foreign asset managers still restricted by mainland regulators, BlackRock has chosen a candidate with experience both in banking and bureaucracy, with Tang now given responsibility for overseeing the development and execution of the firm’s long-term business strategy in China, according to the company.
Before joining China Asset Management, a branch of CITIC, in 2015, Tang spent more than five years with the Chinese Securities Regulatory Commission in Beijing, where he worked as a Deputy Director-General in the Department of International Affairs, and also had experience directing the Department of Fund Supervision in the country’s top financial regulator.
Tang also has several years experience in the US where he worked in derivatives with JP Morgan Chase in New York after receiving his MBA at the University of Chicago’s Booth School. Tang, who received his undergraduate degree in Beijing, also has experience in the US with ABN AMRO and RBS Greenwich Capital, which is now known as NatWest Markets Securities.
Earlier this month, BlackRock promoted its head of Asia Pacific client business, Andrew Landman to the role of head of Australasia, succeeding Dominik Rohe, who shifted to head of Latin America. Landman also reports to Buckingham.