Chinese equity star manager Diamond Lee leaves OMGI

Exit-Man-Door-Depart-Leave-700.jpgVeteran China equity star manager Diamond Lee has left Old Mutual Global Investors to pursue “a career outside of asset management”, the group has announced.

Lee was the manager of OMGI’s £47.1m China Equity fund. He was poached by OMGI in November 2014 from Ignis Asset Management where he spent 18 years as an Asian equities portfolio manager.

As a result of the move, OMGI head of Asian equities Josh Crabb has taken over the management of the fund. Crabb has been managing Asian equity funds for more than 15 years including roles at BlackRock and Prudential Asset Management.

The team behind the management of the China Equity fund as well as the fund’s objective will not change as a result of Lee’s departure.

However, OMGI says it will look to add another Chinese equity specialist to the team “if the opportunity arises”.

The group recently boosted the Asian equity team with a double hire including Rob Weatherston, Japanese equity manager and Gerard Clancy, head of sales for Singapore.

As at the end of June, OMGI’s Asian equity desk manages £392m assets.

Crabb says: “I believe that we are entering an exciting time for Asian equities, which have been out of favour and under-owned for the last few years.

“China is currently undergoing a series of structural reforms as it moves from a manufacturing to service-led economy and we believe this transition presents a number of interesting investment opportunities.”

Crabb describes Lee as a “fantastic colleague” and says he had helped establish the Asian equities team in Hong Kong in April 2015.

Lee says: “After over 20 years in the industry, I feel that now is the right time to move on and try something new.” He added that he had enjoyed helping to establish the business’s first fund management team outside of the UK.