Asia Money: Best Fund House in Wealth Management 2020 (Harvest Fund)

Harvest Fund Management

Harvest may not be the largest fund manager in China, but it has managed to deliver stunning returns for investors year after year.

By the end of 2019, Harvest provided services for more than 100 million investors and it manages assets worth over Rmb1 trillion ($140 billion). That sum includes mutual funds worth nearly Rmb526.2 billion. According to Wind, its non-money-market funds grew Rmb72 billion to Rmb286.7 billion in 2019.

Harvest was one of the most active managers in terms of launching new funds last year; it ranked second, launching new funds worth Rmb68.7 billion, which made up 4.78% of the total new funds in the market, according to Wind data.

The average return of its equity funds was a whopping 42% last year.

Harvest owes part of its success to a stable senior management team. Chief executive Zhao Xuejun’s 17-year tenure makes him the longest-serving boss of a Chinese fund manager. When Zhao became chairman at Harvest in 2018, the firm’s chief investment officer for fixed income, Jing Lei, took over as CEO. He leads a team of senior managers with an average of 10 years of experience.

Harvest has a strong institutional client base. It was the largest manager of social security and pension funds in 2019, and one of the biggest in managing insurance assets.

Since the establishment of its international arm, Harvest Global Investments (HGI), in Hong Kong in 2008, Harvest opened for business in New York – a first for a Chinese manager – in 2012 before opening a London office three years later. HGI now manages over $4.8 billion of assets for overseas clients, which include sovereign wealth funds, and in 2019 it launched new funds in Singapore and Taiwan.

Harvest achieved a few milestones in 2019, including becoming one of the first five Chinese fund managers to receive an investment advisory qualification. It also brought a number of innovative products and services to the market last year, including more than 40 new funds. It launched the Asia fixed income Ucits (Undertakings for the Collective Investment in Transferable Securities) fund in 2019, one year after it brought out the China-focused version.

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