People Moves

Franklin Templeton Names China Head

Tom Burroughes, Group Editor, August 10, 2022

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The firm has Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise status in Shanghai and a representative office in Beijing, as well as two JVs in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Its activities are a reminder of how a number of large US asset managers, such as BlackRock, continue to build out operations in the country despite US-Chinese geopolitical tensions.

Franklin Templeton has appointed former Nomura top figure Yu Qing to the newly-formed role of China head, holding the title of managing director. 

Yu Qing reports to Dr Ben Meng, Asia-Pacific chairman of the California-based group. Based initially in Beijing, she will also work from the firm’s Shanghai office.

With more than three decades’ experience in the financial services and government sectors, Yu Qing was previously chairman of the board at Nomura Orient International Securities and managing director at Nomura Securities in China. She previously served as group vice president at China Reinsurance Group; she also had a long career at the Ministry of Finance, People’s Republic of China. Yu Qing holds a master's degree in economics from Peking University.

“Yu Qing is a highly experienced and well-respected professional who brings a wealth of expertise and leadership to this role. We are very pleased to have her join our team to further drive our China strategy, strengthen our relationships with client and regulatory stakeholders, and capture growth opportunities in this important market,” Dr Meng said. 

The US firm, in addition to its Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise status in Shanghai, also has a representative office in Beijing, and two joint ventures – Franklin Templeton Sealand Fund Management Co in Shanghai and China Life Franklin Asset Management Co in Hong Kong.

Across the world, the firm oversees about $1.4 trillion of assets (as of June 30).

US and other Western firms continue to build buinesses in China – an ironic development considering the trade and geopolitical arguments that have broken out between Washington DC and Beijing in recent months, most starkly over the status of Taiwan. Some prominent investment figures, such as hedge fund tycoon George Soros, even warned that firms such as BlackRock that have launched funds in China were making a "tragic mistake." Last September, BlackRock raised about $1 billion for the first-ever mutual fund solely run by a foreign firm that is allowed to sell to Chinese individuals.

China has been lifting restrictions on foreign wealth managers, by ending restrictions on US asset managers selling mutual funds to individual investors, for example. 

Fidelity International was granted preliminary approval last year; Neuberger Berman and VanEck are seeking clearance for their China mutual fund operations.

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