China Investment Corp. lost two executives from its private-equity department, the latest in a string of resignations from the $400 billion sovereign wealth fund, said a person with direct knowledge of the situation.
James Ieong, a managing director at the Beijing-based fund, resigned last month, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. Daniel Hu, a director at the same department, also left, the person said.
A succession of experienced executives CIC hired during the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009 have left as the three- year contracts they signed when they joined expire, according to the person. The exodus, which has included Patrick Wu, who headed the fund’s global property portfolio, comes as CIC prepares to expand overseas after getting $50 billion of additional capital from the government.
“They hired a lot of people from Wall Street, but as the market recovers, those same people also have more options,” said Winnie Deng, a Shanghai-based analyst covering sovereign wealth funds at research firm Z-Ben Advisors. “Hiring less experienced people means having a longer strategic view for developing their own resources.”
Ieong declined to comment when contacted today. Hu couldn’t be reached on his mobile phone. Phone calls to CIC’s Beijing- based media office went unanswered.
CIC had 497 employees as of June 30, 2011, according to its annual report. Assets totaled $409.6 billion as of Dec. 31, 2010, up 23 percent from the previous year. Alternative investments, which include private equity and hedge funds, surged to 21 percent of its global portfolio in 2010 from 6 percent in 2009.
More job opportunities have become available after global markets stabilized, contributing to the decision by some CIC executives to leave the fund, the person said.
Ieong was among the first group of professionals CIC hired amid the financial crisis, joining in 2008 from Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) to build the private-equity program, the person said.
Guo Jingping, another private-equity executive, left for a job at China International Capital Corp. last year, while Zheng Xiaowei resigned from the same department to join CITIC Private Equity Funds Management Co., according to the person. Zou Fei, a managing director for direct mining investments, also left early this year, the person said.
CIC, created with an initial $200 billion from China’s foreign exchange reserves, posted an 11.7 percent return on its overseas portfolio in 2010, according to its latest annual report released in July, 2011.
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