Stephen Chang, head of Asian fixed income at JP Morgan Asset Management (JPMAM), has left the firm, leading Morningstar to downgrade its $3.3bn Asian Total Return fund.
Chang had worked at the firm for 13 years, having joined from Royal Bank of Scotland in 2004. He managed the Asian Total Return Bond fund from its inception and was also co-manager on the $13.4m China Bond and $2.8bn Asia Pacific Income funds.
JPMAM has appointed Shaw Yann Ho as his replacement, with Ho having worked alongside Chang for the last seven years.
Ho and Jason Pang will take over the fund management responsibilities for the Asian Total Return Bond fund and Ho will join existing manager Pang on the China Bond fund.
Selina Yu has replaced Chang as co-manager on the Asia Pacific Income fund, alongside Ho, Jeffrey Roskell and Julie Ho.
JPMAM said there were no changes to the management or investment process of the funds.
As a result of the departure, Morningstar has downgraded the $3.3bn Asian Total Return Bond fund from Bronze to Neutral. This was due to the lack of experience of manager Ho in running a total return strategy.
Don Yew, analyst, manager research at Morningstar, said: "While Ho is an experienced credit investor, we note that she has limited experience managing a total return strategy.
"She is joined by Pang, who will focus on the local rates and foreign-exchange portion of the portfolio. Hence, we need time to build our conviction in the newly appointed managers and to see how the duo work together on this strategy.
"We take comfort that the managers are committed to the existing investment process, which has been consistently applied and has delivered respectable risk-adjusted results for investors over the long term."
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