Emerging strength boosts HSBC

The head of wholesale at HSBC welcomes moves to relax fund entry to the British retail market as part of a drive for the group to boost performance and cut costs, writes Tomas Hirst.

Perhaps surprising for a group with a range the size of HSBC’s, is that it has decided to focus predominantly on emerging markets over British and European equity markets.

Fears over HSBC’s commitment to these areas have lingered since the departure of Tim Russell, the head of UK equities, and Chris Rice, the head of European equities, to Cazenove in 2002. The pair were considered key managers at the group and some advisers feel too little has been done since their departure.

“They used to have Russell and Rice so they had a strong UK and European business. It now looks like they have these funds because they feel they have to,” says Yearsley.

Darius McDermott, the managing director of Chelsea Financial Services, previously criticised the group’s decision to scale back its efforts in what are traditionally considered core markets for large fund groups. “I was surprised when they moved away from their the UK and European space,” he says. “We were invested in the UK Growth & Income fund but the performance hasn’t really been great in recent years.”