In this page access some of the recent media coverage sharing the development of our brand and featuring insights from our Team.

Henry Zhao, chairman of China's Harvest Fund Management, talks about his pioneering role in the industry and why he thinks Chinese Reits will be a game changer for the country's equity market.

"The CReit (Chinese Reit) product will be popular as it provides investors such as pension funds with an alternative instrument that pays steady cash dividends, which is uncommon in the Chinese equity market." - Henry Zhao. PHOTO: HARVEST FUND MANAGEMENT

The following article is from The Business Times

Published on Saturday, April 24, 2021

"Looking towards the next 10 years, our business strategy will focus on the forward-­looking smiling curve," declares Henry Zhao, chairman of Harvest Fund Management, one of China's biggest asset managers.

In the broad middle will be Harvest's traditional business featuring bonds and equities. Volume will grow, but in its mainstay China market, both market share and margin will come under threat - like with the case of active managers in the US market.

"Active management business models and fees in Asia will face pressure from passive investment methods such as exchange-traded funds," says Dr Zhao, speaking to The Business Times from Beijing.

Where the growth opportunities for Harvest - which has assets under management (AUM) of around US$200 billion - will come from lie on the two ends of the smiling curve, depicting wealth management and alternative investments.

Wealth management will focus on serving the burgeoning number of high net worth individuals and family offices, in China or elsewhere in Hong Kong or Singapore. Increasingly, these wealthy individuals will be serviced with the help of digital platforms, notes Dr Zhao.

He is excited about alternative investments - which will include real estate investment trusts (Reits), logistics products, structured products, hedge funds and private equity - and is looking to come up with unique offerings in order to preserve margins.

The career fund manager predicts that the Chinese Reit (CReit) market will see its first product launch in the second half of this year.

"The CReit product will be popular as it provides investors such as pension funds with an alternative instrument that pays steady cash dividends, which is uncommon in the Chinese equity market," says Dr Zhao, who has advocated for Reits in China.

He calls CReits a game-changer for the China equity market. In his view, CReits will bring about positive change through shifting the market's focus to dividend and offering investors who are looking for yield an option. Trusts focused on infrastructure in China could also be an interesting area space, he reckons.

Dr Zhao hopes that with the emergence of CReits, other listed groups in China could work on growing their dividend payments to reward investors.

Speculators pursuing quick gains are still an important part of the Chinese stock market, accounting for more than half of trading volume, but over time the market has attracted more sophisticated investors, he notes.

Improving stock market

Also, over the last few years, Dr Zhao has seen a trend of individuals moving away from off-balance sheet investment products offered by financial institutions to more professionally managed funds.

Still, to date investors in Chinese equities across various sectors are largely getting returns purely from capital appreciation, he notes.

"The Chinese stock market is a weak efficient market, but it has improved over time," observes Dr Zhao, who has spent considerable time studying the behaviour of Chinese investors.

Harvest - whose shareholders are state-owned China Credit Trust, Deutsche Bank's DWS Group and privately held Lixin Investment, in the proportion of 40:30:30 - was set up in Beijing in 1999.

Today, its AUM of US$200 billion is largely split between fixed income and equities. The largest client segment is mutual funds, while other major client segments include China sovereign funds, pension funds and separately managed accounts.

Harvest focuses on offering active management driven by deep fundamental research.

Dr Zhao, who has been with the group since 2000, describes the first 10 years of Harvest as the "growing-up" phase like that of childhood.

Growth was rapid as the group rose from being a small player to be among the top three Chinese fund managers, and built up its brand equity.

He then likens Harvest's next decade spanning 2009 to 2019 to that of a teenager becoming a young adult. Harvest became more professionalised and broadened its offerings to multi-strategy products, be it growth, value, sectoral or thematic funds.

Harvest is now in its third decade. Dr Zhao's target is for the group to triple AUM to US$600 billion within the next 10 years.

Harvest's Singapore operations, which were set up in 2018, are also growing. Today, its clients comprise 30 per cent from South-east Asia and 70 per cent from Greater China. It looks to reach AUM of US$1 billion in two years time.

Across the group, growth in AUM, revenue, profit, headcount and clients over Dr Zhao's 21 years with Harvest has been rapid.

But amid the business growth, the returns achieved for clients and accompanying industry accolades received, what the scholar leader terms his biggest achievement is making Harvest a unique thought leader that's dynamic and competitive.

Offering ample opportunities

As a pioneer in China's fund management industry, Dr Zhao has through the years mentored many who have gone on to lead other fund houses.

In the early years, there was no fund management talent in the China market, so much time had to be spent training new hires, he says, lamenting: "After you dedicate time and resources to developing the talent, the pity is that as the industry grows they may leave the firm to join another or open up their own shop."

But with Harvest building scale, branding and a platform, the group today can better offer ample opportunities to retain staff.

Born in Tianjin in 1966, Dr Zhao says he is from a lucky generation. Through luck and hard work, he got into good universities at a time when competition for places was less intense and subsequently he managed to ride the wave of China's economy opening up.

Dr Zhao spent the first three years of his working life as an assistant engineer working on designing televisions.

His interest, though, was in management, where he pursued a master's degree in economics and business management.

Dr Zhao says he was fortunate to get on a China-US economics education programme where he was taught by top academics from the United States and Europe. Thus he was exposed to leading economic theories and models at a time when academia in China revolved around planned economies. Dr Zhao went on to complete a doctorate in economics where his thesis was on economic reform in China.

Technology and talent are at the forefront of Harvest's business today, according to Dr Zhao. Huge sums are invested in software and many hires hail from science and engineering backgrounds. Harvest's 1,500-strong workforce has more than 60 PHD holders.

Indeed, Dr Zhao sees Harvest as a technology company. The group uses human talent with tech backgrounds to help in automation and digitalisation as well as in evaluating businesses, given the key role of technology in various businesses today.

"Our business uses artificial intelligence to support human intelligence," he says. He highlights that Harvest is developing databases and knowledge maps for 192 sub-sectors in China.

Dr Zhao is confident of the prospects for the Chinese economy in the near term, where successful efforts to contain the Covid-19 pandemic has paved the way for economic recovery, as well as the long term, with its huge economic potential.

In this digital age, groups in the technology space will continue to be an exciting area to look at for investors, says Dr Zhao.

While current technology leaders such as Alibaba and Tencent are focused on providing business to consumer platforms, the next big opportunities lie with business-to-business platforms, in his view.

Dr Zhao is excited by the work being done by numerous emerging Chinese companies on this front and thinks that many big groups will emerge by being successful in different business verticals.

He also thinks the ability to build strong horizontal platforms needed to serve consumers may not translate easily into building strong vertical platforms to serve businesses.

Other areas that are exciting in the Chinese economy are in healthcare and pharmaceuticals including generic drug development, he adds.

With the Chinese economy maturing, the easy gains from playing catch-up with advanced economies are long over, he notes. Businesses are, however, getting more sophisticated and prospects are good so long as businesses continue to innovate, Dr Zhao says. He is positive on prospects for Tier 1 cities and the Pearl River Delta.

Nonetheless the Chinese economy will have to confront constraints to growth from an ageing population and low birth rates, notes Dr Zhao. He sees the demographic challenge that comes with a peak followed by a subsequent fall in the labour force as perhaps the greatest challenge to the economy.

Also as China grew rapidly some problems accumulated including the excess of credit in certain parts of the economy, observes Dr Zhao.

He acknowledges that international investors have concerns over corporate governance of Chinese companies. But he thinks there has been much improvement over the last two years, in part because penalties for egregious breaches can include imprisonment.

Still, Dr Zhao has a major bugbear with Chinese groups on corporate governance. If the owner wants the group to be a listed public company, then let control of the board be in the hands of independent directors, he opines.

Harvest has stepped up efforts in looking at sustainability when it comes to investment decision-making. Harvest's China environmental sustainability governance (ESG) programme involves proprietary ESG scoring and research, and regular ESG risk monitoring and alerts. The results are accessible on an ESG dashboard that is integrated into Harvest's core investment platform.

Managing talent

While constantly thinking of the business and markets, Dr Zhao enjoys skiing as a way to unwind, and winter finds him invariably headed to the ski slopes. The hobby allows him to switch off as it is too dangerous to think while skiing, he quips.

He sees his leadership style as being that of a scholar mentality. Time is largely devoted to thinking of strategy and incubating new areas of business, while monitoring performance and managing the human talent.

"I don't like to push my people with force or pressure. Instead, I like to provide room for self-driven growth," he says. He believes good talent can be motivated to deliver performance, which is not measured on a one-year basis but rather over periods of three or five years.

Dr Zhao sees himself as a teacher. He wants Harvest to recruit the best students from top universities and then spend much time teaching them skills, culture and standards.

While he has notched up many achievements as a pioneer in China's fund management industry, he does not see himself as being particularly gifted or talented.

He reserves the terms instead to describe the many successful founders of large enterprises in China, citing for instance the founders of Huawei and Fuyao Glass.

For a man whose business is to help clients build and preserve financial wealth, Dr Zhao sees himself as a fairly contented person. "Wealth is a by-product of reaching your goals and not the goal itself," he says.

He adds that it would be fairly easy for him to seek personal fortune by setting up his own fund house but views his legacy as that of growing the tree that is Harvest and contributing to others.

"With my work, I like to benefit as many people as possible, including my clients and my employees," says Dr Zhao, who is committed to make Harvest a global leader.

He also wants to contribute to the fund management industry globally through thought leadership.

He believes Harvest has positioned itself well as a China specialist for global clients. Where it has not done as well is to service Chinese clients in accessing investment opportunities outside of China. He attributes this to Chinese investors being faced with foreign currency controls and Harvest's somewhat limited footprint in the US and Europe.

Dr Zhao jokes that if he speaks better English, perhaps Harvest would do better internationally. Dr Zhao, who uses mostly Mandarin during the interview, keeps being apologetic that the interview is not being conducted entirely in the English language.

When it comes to his own children, Dr Zhao says they are independent persons who need not follow him into fund management. He wants them though to study in the US so they can be proficient in English.




1966: Born in Tianjin, China


1987: Bachelor's degree (Electrical Engineering), Tianjin University

1990: Masters (Economics and Business Management), Tianjin University

1997: PhD (Economics), Guanghua School of Management, Peking University CAREER

1987 - 1997: Various positions in financial investments, capital markets operation and corporate management

1999 - 2000: Deputy Chief Executive, Dacheng Fund Management

2000 - 2017: Chief Executive, Harvest Fund Management

Since 2017: Chairman, Harvest Fund Management

Since 2015: President, State Legislative Leaders Foundation (SLLF)'s Asian Chapter and VP, SLLF's US Chapter

Since 2016: VP, Asset Management Association of China

The following article is from The Edge Singapore - Published on Thu, Mar 11, 2021

Asset Management

Leading China-based asset manager Harvest Group is gearing up to expand its operations based out of Singapore, to meet growing clients’ appetite for investments outside China as part of their portfolio diversification.

“There’s plenty more room for Chinese capital to grow in markets outside China, thus we wish to expand the offshore application of our investment capabilities especially in Singapore,” says chairman Henry Zhao Xuejun.

The way he sees it, choosing Singapore as a hub of activities outside China is an easy decision to make. Due to the sound regulatory framework created by regulator the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the city-state has become a key wealth management centre.

“Naturally, we have to pay more attention to Singapore, and set up a bigger presence in Singapore and use this a base for our business activities in the region,” he says.

“We see Singapore as our new offshore centre for not only our current wealth management office in the region, but also a larger overseas business framework centered around alternative investments in Singapore, focusing on Fintech, private equity, and wealth management,” he adds.

The firm was founded in 1999. Zhao, who holds a doctorate in economics from Peking University, joined the firm a year later.

Under Zhao, who has built up a track record as the longest​-​serving head of a Chinese asset management firm, Harvest has grown its assets under management to around US$200 billion.

Harvest hires around 300 investment professionals, and the firm operates nearly a dozen offices located in the various key global financial centres.

Within China, it caters to clients of different market segments ranging from retail investors to high net​-​worth individuals, institutions and also sovereign wealth funds.

Harvest Group has three shareholders. China Credit Trust Co holds the biggest share of 40%, with Lixin Investment Co and DWS, formerly Deutsche Asset Management (Asia), holding another 30% each.

The funds managed by Harvest are invested in asset classes ranging from publicly-listed companies to private equities. If need be, it is happy to provide bespoke solutions for clients. For example, it has recently helped a client invest US$35 million to build a hotel in southeast Asia.

“With China’s growing affluence, there will be more interest to invest offshore, in locations such as Singapore. We can help them handpick quality assets for them to consider, and play the role of risk diversification in their portfolio,” says Andrew Tan, Singapore-based managing director of H Partners Financial Holdings, a subsidiary of Harvest Group.

According to Tan, 80% of the AUM booked by the Singapore office originates from China and 20% from outside China. With a low base and faster growth pace, he sees this proportion reaching 60% China and 40% non-China. From an AUM of US$300 million booked in Singapore now, Tan sees this number surging to US$1 billion.

The Singapore office is focused on serving institutions and family offices, and there are no plans to expand into the retail market, says Tan.

Proper diversification

Now, as global economic and market trends go, China clearly leads in terms of growth rate, market size, market potential and even the pace at which new wealth is minted. Why would capital from within China want to go into unfamiliar ground outside the home market?

“China is able to grow at a pace faster than most economies, but all investors face the same problem: how to ensure proper diversification. They can’t put everything into one currency, one market, one sector,” explains Zhao.

To this end, Singapore has a key role to play as an offshore destination – be it for fund-raising, or a base from which investments are made.

Furthermore, Harvest sees both fund-raising and investment opportunities as a two-way street. “We also want to help investors in Singapore capture the structural opportunities in China with high growth potential, building a two-way bridge that connects Singapore and China,” says Zhao.​​

Harvest aims to widen its scope of activities and widen its network of partners and investors via the Singapore office. “We hope that with our regional office in Singapore, we can partner with other investors such as sovereign wealth funds, raising both RMB and USD, thus enabling us to continue to expand the methods through which we invest beyond China, into the US market, Hong Kong-listed China companies, as well as companies in Southeast Asia,” says Zhao.

He also believes Harvest has an edge in terms of the people it has. For many traditional wealth management firms, the key people in charge rise up the ranks by being relationship managers. In contrast, Tan’s background is in investing, as are the colleagues who joined him later in the Singapore office.

“As such, Andrew and the team are better able to provide very sound advice on investment decisions to our clients,” says Zhao.

近期,联合国负责任投资原则组织(UN PRI)发布2020年度签署方评估报告,嘉实基金获得高度肯定,在衡量公司层面ESG管理水平的“战略与治理”模块,获得首批最高的A+级别评定。这标志着嘉实基金一直致力于将ESG(环境、社会责任和公司治理)研究融入中国金融市场投资的努力,获得了国际权威组织的认可。



嘉实基金相关人士表示,通过分析UN PRI报告中的具体内容,嘉实基金将更加明确未来一段时间所需提高的方向和重点。嘉实基金将继续努力,持续改善ESG分析与研究在投资策略中的应用,进一步践行可持续、负责任的长期价值投资理念、履行作为资产管理机构的社会责任。


在联合国的支持下,UN PRI原则旨在鼓励和推进全球资产拥有者、资产管理者及服务提供者践行责任投资的国际网络。通过签署该原则,签署方承诺在作出投资决策时遵循责任投资相关标准,并鼓励被投资公司遵守和实践可持续发展的原则。UN PRI目前在全球有超过3,000家签署方。

嘉实基金于2018年3月正式加入UN PRI,是境内首批签署该原则、践行ESG投资理念的公募基金管理公司之一。

关于UN PRI 2020年年度评估报告的方法论,请查看链接:

查阅嘉实基金参与UN PRI评估的透明度报告,请查看链接:


The following article is from 哈佛商业评论 Author HBR-China



《哈佛商业评论》( Harvard Business Review,简称 HBR )创建于1922年,是哈佛商学院的标志性杂志,被全球商界誉为“管理圣经”,众多耳熟能详的管理思想家、管理理论均出自《哈佛商业评论》。更多管理智慧,请登录官方网站。




嘉实基金《投给你想要的世界》—理论篇 信仰专业、信仰研究,二十年来嘉实基金不断丰富理论认知去引领和支撑资管业务的发展。“在嘉实,我们主要探索更深层次的资本市场运行规律,希望通过理论研究、理论实践让资管行业走向智能化、工业化的方向。通过理论研究去解决中国金融市场中最基本的问题,这对资管行业的推动是不可限量的。”嘉实基金董事总经理、人工智能投研中心负责人张自力博士说。 2015年,嘉实基金与北京大学光华管理学院联合设立嘉实基金博士后科研工作站,主要研究方向包括人工智能投资和大类资产配置;嘉实基金博士后科研工作站设站4年多来累计进站14位博士后,在国内外核心期刊发表论文超30篇,嘉实也是唯一连续三年获得中国博士后科学基金会资助的基金公司。自2018年起,嘉实基金正式携手中国社会科学院经济研究所,成为“中国青年经济学者论坛”战略合作机构,希冀与倡导更多的青年学者投入中国经济领域的学术研究。

嘉实基金董事长赵学军博士认为,金融行为建立在理论的基础上才能做得更好、更持久:“嘉实与其他企业所做的博士后站会有很大的区别。第一,我们坚持做理论发论文。第二,在热点和高点之间,我们选择高点,不做热点。第三,我们所做的每一项学术研究必须是和为投资人创造回报有关。同时,我们坚信理论对实践的指导与应用,能够将理论推向更前沿。” 如今,嘉实基金的相关理论研究成果已经融入到资产管理工作中。在大类资产配置领域,嘉实的目标是满足客户资产管理的需求、为客户创造财富的保值增值。通过实证、论文发表来推动风险收益投资模型有效前沿向前推进,通过系统的方法管理风险和获取无风险收益提升。比如,嘉实提出了一个以风险平价模型为配置基准,以贝叶斯VAR回报预测为主观观点的Black-Litterman模型。相比传统的均值方差模型,该模型降低了组合风险,相比风险平价模型又增强了组合回报,这些特性来自于它既能利用回报可预测性带来的有用信息,又能够发挥风险平价模型在控制风险方面的优势。 “理论研究和金融实践是相辅相成、相互促进的。资管行业第一线接触的很多问题,实际上都可以用理论抽象出来作为研究贡献,用理论驱动研究、反哺投资业务已经成为嘉实独特的前进方向。”张自力博士说。

基于市场有效假说理论的探索以及对中国资本市场的研究,嘉实基金发现,基本面研究才是与中国资本市场自洽的方法,必须坚持正确的理论认知、建立深度思考与方法论,构建更优化的配置与有效前沿。这也推动了嘉实基金指数基金的业务发展,目前旗下十余只Super ETF产品的创设,就是从投资思想出发、覆盖经济发展长赛道,不断满足投资者对资产配置的精细化需求。 “在这个时代下,中国资本市场为从事理论研究的专业人才开创了一个伟大的机遇和特殊的战场,我们可以去不断优化理论、创新理论。”赵学军博士对中国金融理论的创新有很大的期许,“我相信在今天的中国去做深度学术研究,具有很大的发展和突破空间。” 经济和金融理论的发展关系到数以万计的个人和整体社会的福祉,金融赞美从1到N的创新,更应致敬从0到1的突破,中国理论创新的价值将在未来金融体系的实践中不断被证明。

Modified on 2020-03-27

The following article is from 哈佛商业评论 Author HBR-China



《哈佛商业评论》( Harvard Business Review,简称 HBR )创建于1922年,是哈佛商学院的标志性杂志,被全球商界誉为“管理圣经”,众多耳熟能详的管理思想家、管理理论均出自《哈佛商业评论》。更多管理智慧,请登录官方网站。


中国成为全球资本市场的价值中枢,投资中国成为一种共识。根据嘉实基金预测,未来10年,外资在A股的持股比例将提高至10~15%,对应流入资金规模将在4~6万亿元。 那么包括中国投资者在内的全球投资者,究竟如何才能投资好中国?又如何才能真正地在中国市场实现财富的增长?



当世界的目光逐渐投向中国,其实早已有一批优秀的资产管理机构根植于中国市场成长壮大。嘉实基金是中国最早成立的公募基金之一,也是最早亮相国际的中国资产管理机构。而在二十年的发展历程中,让嘉实能够面向挑战、保持领先的核心竞争力是其对深度研究的秉持与追求。 深刻准确地洞察中国市场运行的基本规律,是嘉实为投资者获取回报的起点。“中国市场具有非有效性和弱有效性的特征,其市场信息的传播是逐层的而非同时的。”嘉实基金董事长赵学军博士揭示了中国资本市场与欧美资本市场的不同。在嘉实基金看来,中国市场的非有效性和弱有效性,让信息的流动像波纹一样逐层向外延展,越靠近市场中心的地方,得到信息的强度越大、质量也越高。 市场有效程度的不同,决定了在中国资本市场和欧美资本市场做投资的方法论是完全不同的。在中国做投资的整个方法论区别于国外,最重要的方法就是基本面投资和深度研究。


“有的投资者推崇‘技术派’,喜欢通过跟踪K线图做投资,但这样的方法在嘉实是从来不被允许的。”嘉实总经理经雷解释到,“在中国,深度研究是资产管理公司成功与否的关键,是发展一切资管能力的先行者。” 嘉实对于研究的投入属于行业前列,拥有超300人的投研团队。学术背景是思想的积淀,在嘉实有超过60名博士分布在多个研究领域。嘉实相信唯有理论学习的基础,再加上行业实际的论证与投资实践,才能形成有效的系统性方法论,才能使投研人员知行合一,才能够把资产管理做好,满足客户日益专业性的要求。 对于这一点,嘉实医药健康的基金经理颜媛博士深有感触,她相信深度研究是完善认知的基础:“我们愿意把更多时间放在重要的事情上,让案头研究和一线调研并进。我们不仅要发现投资机会,还要识别和避免一些风险,而这些都需要通过深度研究来不断改进我们的判断。


从深度研究出发的基本面投资,是从宏观、产业、企业的基本面遴选更有质量的信息,用不断完备的方法论去验证和分析信息,从中获取回报。而嘉实相信只有深度研究才能让每一分回报都有因可循,而有因可寻的回报才是可持续的。 不同的行业拥有不同的生命周期,其初创期、成长期、快速成长期、成熟期、衰退期,不同时期所面临的衡量方法也不尽相同。嘉实是业内最早建立行业基金及行业研究团队的基金公司之一,截至目前已建立覆盖科技、消费、健康、制造、周期、金融地产等29个一级子行业、112个二级子行业的知识库。 这样的研究体系让嘉实获取回报的逻辑是根植实际的、稳定的,而看问题的视角是多元的、变化的和灵活的。嘉实基金港股通策略投资总监张金涛介绍说:“我们深度的研究产业、行业和公司,并在这个基础上衍生出不同的投资策略,这让我们能够捕捉到真正由企业成长所创造的价值,而这样的回报才是长期的和可持续的。”

2020年1月,中国银河证券基金研究中心发布了基金行业年度收益数据。嘉实基金2019年全年通过公募产品为投资人赚取回报556.38亿元,位列行业第三。至此,自成立以来至2019年末,嘉实基金仅公募产品已为投资人赚取回报1819.53亿元。 深度研究能够做到的,是在同步市场认知的基础上不断超越,让认知比市场走的更深、更远、更多元。“嘉实投研已经形成了体系化的建制,我们的团队不仅是人才的聚集,更是思想的汇聚。思想的碰撞让我们朝一个共同的目标努力,那就是为投资者创造卓越的和可持续的回报。”经雷说。

Modified on 2020-03-26

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.

Harvest Fund Management believes its local knowledge and approach to research gives it an edge over international asset managers on critical market issues such as the development of ESG investing.

As a leading asset manager, Harvest Fund Management is committed to the welfare and sustainability of domestic financial markets. With ESG considerations increasingly impacting upon Chinese companies and their stock prices the firm believes fiduciary managers must incorporate these considerations into their investment research and decision-making.

ESG is crucial to the sustainable development of Chinese financial markets. As wealth increases, people are also increasingly demanding improvements in quality of life in areas such as air and water quality, product safety, and cybersecurity and privacy.

However, global frameworks often lack the granularity to capture unique practices in local markets, which could be material to investment returns and overall sustainability. For example, company founders pledging shares as collateral when raising capital is a common practice in China but rarely found elsewhere. When the percentage of pledged stock is high, significant price movements could result in changes in ownership.

To improve its understanding of ESG standards across different markets and how these can be applied to China, Harvest Fund Management has established a dedicated team providing focused research support and integration process management.

This team evaluates ESG insights systematically and regularly to reduce overall exposure to tail risk and capture hidden risks that are often neglected by traditional financial analysis. They work with analysts and portfolio managers to incorporate these insights into fundamental analysis and help portfolio managers make better-informed decisions.

Jing Lei, chief executive officer, Harvest Fund Management says the firm can encourage better corporate governance through its ESG research activities. “Our teams in Beijing and Hong Kong have developed localised models that not only produce scores for listed companies but also for mutual fund products. In an inefficient market where the scope for alpha is increased, our ESG research has proved beneficial to both institutional and retail customers,” he explains.

Thanks to its proprietary assessment framework and scores covering the entire A-shares market, the firm’s ESG factor and strategies have delivered excess returns during the COVID-19 period and are expected to continually outperform over long-term investment horizons.

A key element of our approach is in-depth, fundamental research. When faced with a myriad of potential investment targets, finding the best target will depend on the fundamentals.

A deep understanding of the Chinese market and economic structures including specific sectors and companies is vital. Harvest Fund Management believes structural research is more applicable than trend research when it comes to identifying opportunities for growth in the domestic capital markets, a view that sets it apart from many international investors.

“We have invested heavily in technology and data analytics,” says Lei. “A key element of our approach is in-depth, fundamental research. When faced with a myriad of potential investment targets, finding the best target will depend on the fundamentals.”

The firm has worked with postdoctoral fellows at Peking University in developing financial theory specifically for inefficient markets applications. This is important because the basic theory currently used in the capital market is based on the assumption of an effective market, yet asset managers need the ability to conduct in-depth research on the assumption of an inefficient market.

Theoretical study - coupled with practice - will lay down an important foundation for investment research personnel to form an effective, systematic and actionable research methodology.

Harvest Fund Management has conducted long term and in-depth research, using a combination of top-down and bottom-up methods, to fully dissect the underlying principles of the domestic market. Potential structural opportunities are mainly focused in four areas:

  • Science and technology
  • Healthcare and medicine
  • Consumer
  • Advanced manufacturing

A comprehensive understanding of the underlying patterns that guide the Chinese market is essential. Current and future opportunities for growth in the domestic capital market will be mainly of structural nature and while the market may develop along similar lines to those in Europe and North America, the development period will be shorter.

Indeed, there is a possibility that China may skip the more basic passive index stage and move straight into the smart beta phase.

According to Lei, customer relationships will be vital to the success of asset managers in China over the next decade. “Ten years ago there were maybe 600 mutual fund products available – now there are more than 6000,” he says. “As the number of products available continues to grow and it becomes easier for investors to purchase them, managers will have to improve customer loyalty.”

Content is king, concludes Lei. “Managers need to look at how their content is organised and how they attract interest. In this area we can learn from how the major online companies encourage consumers to spend time on their apps.”


——嘉实基金董事长赵学军 博士


嘉实基金《投给你想要的世界》-使命篇 伴随着中国经济的飞速发展,世界见证了中国金融体系的崛起。以公募基金为代表的中国资产管理机构,二十余年来在奋进与试错中砥砺成长。2019年中国公募基金的总规模已达14.8万亿,每一个资产管理人都认识到在不断创造新高的数字背后是更大的责任。

Modified on 2020-03-25