ICI Global prepares for China growth with HK office

International buy-side trade body ICI Global has targeted closer ties to Chinese asset managers by opening a Hong Kong office led by an Asian regulatory veteran.

International buy-side trade body ICI Global has targeted closer ties to Chinese asset managers by opening a Hong Kong office led by an Asian regulation veteran.

ICI Global, the international arm of US buy-side association the Investment Company Institute, has hired Quimei Yang, who joins from her most recent role at Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, where she worked on the London Metal Exchange acquisition.

Speaking to theTRADEnews.com, Yang said she would use her close ties to asset managers in China and throughout the region to boost ICI Global’s member base, and to champion their interests.

“There is a demand for Chinese asset management companies to grow in other markets. So far, 14 have opened offices in Hong Kong and several more will do so this year. These firms have a desire to be international and must deal with transnational issues and ICI Global can help address these,” Yang said. 

Yang worked at the China Securities Regulatory Commission for a decade, holding roles including a senior role on the planning commission, deputy director general for the department of international affairs and a role at the department of investment fund supervision.

Yang hopes to combine her experience of presiding over regulatory regimes, such as China’s Qualified Foreign Institutional Investment (GFII) and her contacts from participating in transnational regulatory bodies, including the International Organization of Securities Commissions, to her new buy-side facing role.

“Today’s fund investment industry is global and ICI Global is perfectly positioned to meet the demands of asset managers in Asia, who are increasingly keen on contributing to the transnational regulatory dialogue,” she said.

Yang will report to Dan Waters, managing director, ICI Global, who said Yang’s addition was a coup for the organisation as part of efforts to expand its presence in Asia.

Waters noted key issues the organisation would focus on in Asia include the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FACTA), which was developed to limit tax avoidance by US persons with offshore investments. Asset managers in Asia have already raised concerns about FATCA’s high compliance costs.

“FATCA is one of the most important issues for the region right now due to the scope of the reform. We expect the signing of more intergovernmental agreements and will be further educating firms in the region on their obligations as implementation approaches,” Waters said.

“OTC derivatives reform is also a key concern for the region and we expect to stay engaged in order to share the concerns of regulated funds with regulators in the region,” he added.

ICI Global will commence its local operations in Hong Kong on 1 May.