Matthews Asia has confirmed that manager Tiffany Hsiao, who heads up the firm's China and Asia Small Companies funds, will leave by the end of the month to "pursue another opportunity", as will her deputy portfolio managers Yuanyuan Ji and Beini Zhou.
Hsiao will be replaced by Winnie Chwang and Andrew Mattock as co-lead managers on the Matthews China Small Companies fund, both of whom currently run the firm's core China strategy. A replacement for the Asia Small Companies fund is yet to be confirmed.
Since Hsiao took to the helm of $339.5m China Small Companies fund in June 2015, it has comfortably doubled its average peer in the IA China/Greater China sector with a total return of 145.44%.
Its MSCI China Small Cap benchmark has fallen by 8.32% over the same period, according to data from FE fundinfo.
The fund has also been the single best performer in its peer group over one, three and five years, as well as over the last six months.
Hsiao has managed the $16.5m Matthews Asia Small Companies since the end of April this year and, since then, it has returned 18.9% compared to its average peer's gain of 16.1%, and its MSCI AC Asia ex Japan Small Cap index's return of 20.6%.
The China fund has had Yuanyuan Ji listed as deputy manager since 30 April 2020, while the Asia fund has had Beini Zhou as its deputy manager since 2014.
A spokesperson for Matthews Asia said: "We are pleased that our firm has played an important role in Tiffany's development as a portfolio manager since she joined our firm as an analyst in 2014, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank Tiffany for her many contributions.
"Our firm places significant emphasis and resources on retention of talent and while we are disappointed in her decision to leave the firm, we continue to have a very deep bench of investment team talent with over 40 investment professionals."
New managers of the Matthews Asia China Small Companies strategy Chwang and Mattock have run the firm's China fund since 2014 and 2015 respectively. The $113m SICAV has achieved top-quartile returns relative to its average peer over one, three and five years.
"Both Winnie and Andrew have significant experience researching and investing in small companies in China and have a deep understanding of the China Small Companies Strategy's current portfolio holdings," the spokesperson added.
Before joining Matthews Asia in 2014, Hsiao was a vice president and research analyst at Goldman Sachs Investment Partners in Hong Kong and Tokyo for several years. Prior to this, she spent six years at Franklin Templeton, where she managed the firm's global communications fund.