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PROFESSIONAL SERVICES/LEGAL | Tony Chua, Hong Kong
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PwC Hong Kong boosts asset management team

Developments in Asia’s fund management industry and offshore CNY market to fuel growth.

PwC Hong Kong’s Asset Management Industry Group plans to double its revenue within the next five years. To realise this goal, the group is expanding its team even further to 24 partners and over 250 staff who are largely dedicated to serving the firm’s clients in the asset management industry. The new partners include three very experienced names.

Tony Evangelista, who some years ago helped set up PwC’s investment management regulatory compliance practice in New York, joined the Hong Kong firm on 1 August 2011. During his time in the US, Tony also spent two and a half years with the US Securities and Exchange Commission where he helped develop and review rules and regulations for investment companies and investment advisers. He has also assisted foreign governments in developing their investment management regulatory framework, and he is bringing this extensive knowledge and experience to accelerate the growth of PwC Hong Kong’s own regulatory practice.

Meanwhile, Carlyon Knight-Evans, the former Ernst & Young asset management sector leader for Asia Pacific, is joining PwC Hong Kong in December. Carlyon brings with him more than 20 years of experience in advising asset management firms on their business growth, including operational effectiveness, best practices in corporate governance and improving internal controls. Carlyon will continue to focus on the hedge funds industry, an area where PwC has experienced tremendous growth in recent years and which is expected to continue to expand.

PwC Hong Kong’s asset management industry group also welcomes a new US tax partner. Angelica Kwan joins the firm’s US tax consulting group after practicing as a US tax lawyer in New York for 15 years. She has extensive experience with private equity, M&A and international transactions. While in New York, she advised on the formation of funds and the acquisition of portfolio companies in a range of industries. Prior to joining PwC Hong Kong, Angelica was a US tax partner at Sidley Austin LLP in New York.

“Needless to say we’re delighted to have Tony, Carlyon and Angelica join the team. Collectively, they have more than 65 years of experience in the asset management field. The wealth of knowledge and expertise that they’re bringing is second to none. And the additions couldn’t have come at a better time. We expect to see an increased demand for our service offerings to the Asset Management industry, especially after the announcement by China’s Vice Premier Li Keqiang to increase the trading of the yuan in Hong Kong,” says Marie-Anne Kong, PwC Assurance Asset Management Leader for Hong Kong. “We’ve had the largest asset management practice in Hong Kong for some time. However, with the city’s growing importance as a global asset management centre and offshore renminbi hub, clients’ needs and the nature of services that they demand have also become more sophisticated. And we’re positioning ourselves to meet those needs,” adds Marie-Anne.

In PwC’s 14th Annual Global CEO Survey released early this year, of the 31 asset management CEOs that participated, three-quarters believe emerging markets will drive growth in their companies. In fact, they say these markets will be more important to their company’s future prosperity than developed markets. Nearly all expect an increase in revenue from their Asian operations over the next 12 months, according to a PwC report.

“Asia accounts for US$2.757 trillion, or 13%, of global funds under management, but nearly two-thirds, or 60%, of the world’s population. Also, Asia’s middle class has experienced terrific growth relative to other regions over the last 20 years. These disparities suggest enormous opportunities for asset management growth across the region. Hong Kong’s asset management industry might not be on the same level as say New York or London at the moment, but there’s no denying the fact that it’s growing rapidly,” says Robert Grome, PwC Asset Management Leader for Asia Pacific.

PwC Hong Kong plans to be part of that growth.

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