November 19, 2023
Hong Kong-based NF Trinity is looking to expand its public and private investment capabilities, with new hires from several institutions including the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, PAG, and Goldman Sachs.
Hong Kong business conglomerate Nan Fung Group’s family office NF Trinity has made some new additions to its team with four new hires, including a chief operating officer from PAG and an equity investment manager from Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.
This is part of the family office’s ongoing efforts to elevate its investment capabilities in both public and private markets while expanding into the multifamily service space, the firm told AsainInvestor.
“Our objective to propel our organisation forward and create long-term value for our investors is supported by our commitment to continuously enhance our already institutionalised investment and data capabilities and operational infrastructure,” said Helen Zhu, managing director and chief investment officer of NF Trinity.
Among them, Janet Hung joined the family office from PAG in October as chief operating officer.
Her primary responsibilities involve managing and overseeing the operations of NF Trinity, as well as driving strategic business initiatives.
Hung will work closely with Zhu and the rest of the NF Trinity team, while collaborating with various departments at Nan Fung Group.
“With her extensive experience accumulated from institutionalised platforms and collaborative approach, Janet is expected to enhance our collective efforts and contribute significantly to the growth of our financial investment and multifamily office operations,” said Zhu.
Prior to joining NF Trinity, Hung spent 15 years in Asia-Pacific-focused alternative investment firm PAG, where her last position was the managing director and chief financial officer of the credit and markets team. PAG declined to comment on Hung’s departure.
Meanwhile, NF Trinity also added three investment associates across private and public investments. These included Wendy Wen and Sylvia Yin at the public investment team, as well as Coco Zhang for private investment.
Wen joined the firm in September, responsible for public equity investments. She joined from Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, where she spent nearly two years as investment analyst for Greater China industrial equities until April this year.
Before that, she worked at the Goldman Sachs equity research team, focusing on Middle East and North Africa petrochemicals.
In April, the Canadian pension giant Ontario Teachers’ closed down its China equity investment team based in Hong Kong amid rising tensions between Beijing and Ottawa, resulting in the departure of five of its staff in Hong Kong.
ENLIST THE BEST
Zhu thought the backdrop of layoffs across the financial industry created “great countercyclical opportunities” to recruit some of the best talent in the market.
“We think that acting countercyclically usually pays off best over the medium term. You can hire talents at the downturn and then really build something so that you can benefit from the subsequent upturn,” Zhu said.
“One of our key advantages in investing and our business practices is that we dare to be countercyclical, and we don’t have constraints on having to make money on a relative basis within a short period of time like mutual funds, or the need to maximise near-term profit like some listed companies, which may constrain one from buying certain securities or making certain hires in a down market,” she added.
Earlier in July, NF Trinity hired both Coco Zhang and Sylvia Yin.
Zhang focuses on the firm’s private fund and direct investments. She joined from Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong, where she was private equity associate for over two years, responsible for evaluating growth equity and buyout investment opportunities in Asia.
Prior to that, she worked in investment banking team at Citi Hong Kong.
Yin is in the public equity investment team. Before joining NF Trinity, she worked as an investment analyst at Singapore-based Sea Capital, the investment arm of Sea Limited, where she was responsible for private equity investment in media and gaming globally, as well as internet and consumer sectors in emerging markets.
Prior to that, Yin worked as an investment research analyst in Composite Capital Management, focusing on public market investment in internet and consumer sectors in China and emerging markets.
VOTE OF CONFIDENCE
Since 2021, NF Trinity has been transforming into a multifamily office in response to rising market demand.
Against the backdrop, Zhu said the hiring efforts will continue across investments, data analysis, as well as operations.
Amid doubts and fears of Hong Kong’s future as an asset and wealth management hub due to geopolitics, Zhu cast her vote of confidence.
“We believe in leveraging Hong Kong’s deep talent pool to attract individuals who can bring valuable skills and insights to our team,” she said.
As a major family office in town, NF Trinity’s team has doubled in size since Zhu joined from BlackRock in late 2019, with the majority, or two dozen, being investment professionals.
On the public side, it does direct investment and has a global multi-asset flexible mandate. On the private side, it mostly invests into a variety of leading global private funds across different strategies, while also dabbling in some direct and co-investments.
NF Trinity also runs a big data analysis team, which Zhu built after she was onboard.
“The objective is investing in a risk-adjusted reasonable manner to achieve strong compounded returns over the cycle from diversified asset classes, sectors, and regions,” she stressed.
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