It has now been over 20 years since “Asia’s Investment Prophets” was first published. In the book, investment analyst and author Claire Barnes profiled seventeen stand-out investors focused on the Asia Pacific region. Given her own track record running the Apollo Asia Fund (which has returned some 22% per annum since inception in 1997), she would be a likely candidate for inclusion if someone were to write a similar book today.
Those who track stand-out investors in Asia might be interested to learn what became of the group. The majority are still involved in the investment business. Some have become household names (Marc Faber, Kerr Neilson, Cheah Cheng Hye), while others have become increasingly involved in non-profit and charitable endeavours (Charles Fowler). One member of the group was sacked and fined for his involvement in a scandal that effectively ended his investment career.
As a disclaimer, I have compiled the information below from publicly available data. It is by no means comprehensive and it might not be up to date. I have also focused only on the individuals profiled and have therefore excluded the team at Aetna.
Peter Phillips (then at Fidelity)
Now: Director and portfolio manager of HK-based Fronter Asia Capital, which he runs together with Jeff Kung (also previously with Fidelity). Also serves on the advisory board of Bagan Capital.
Adrian Cantwell (then at Global Asset Management)
Now: Based in Vancouver where he is CEO of Shield Hedge Fund Management. Previously ran his own consultancy firm (Cantwell Consultancy) and also served as a senior investment manager at Thring Townsend in the UK.
David Lui (then at Schroders Asia)
Now: Vice chairman of Schroders Investment Management HK Ltd. Also serves as non-executive vice chairman of Bank of Communications Schroders Fund Management Company in Shanghai.
Colin Armstrong (then at Jardine Fleming)
Now: Unknown. In 1996, Armstrong was sacked and fined for his role in a scandal that led to a subsequent restructuring of Jardine Fleming. An investigation revealed he had “engaged in late allocation of deals after changes in the price of the instruments traded had occurred,” in turn making “substantial profits”. The Securities and Futures Commission later revoked his registrations as an investment adviser, securities dealer and commodities trading adviser.
William Kaye (then at Pacific Alliance Group)
Now: Vice chairman and senior managing director at the same firm, where he continues to oversee all portfolio and direct equity management activities of the group’s various investment efforts.
Edward Kong (then at EK Investments)
Now: Unknown. Listed as a responsible officer of EK Investment Management until October 2013.
David Crichton-Watt (then at AIMS)
Now: Still at AIMS. The group’s funds include the Apollo Asia Fund run by Claire Barnes (author of the book), the Phoenix Gold Fund, the Panah Fund (run by Andrew Limond) and the Alwaha Fund.
Peter Everington (then at Regent Pacific)
Now: Unknown. Served as an executive director of Regent Pacific until 2002.
Michael Sofaer (then at Sofaer Capital)
Now: Still runs his own firm. Also serves as a non-executive advisor at GTI Group.
Kerr Neilson (then at Platinum Asset Management)
Now: Currently serves as the CEO, portfolio manager for the global mandates and principal shareholder of Platinum Asset Management. The firm went public in 2007.
Marc Faber (then at Marc Faber Ltd.)
Now: Still serves as director of Marc Faber Ltd., which acts as both an investment advisor and fund manager. Director, advisor and shareholder of a number of emerging and frontier markets funds, including Leopard Capital’s Cambodia Fund and Asia Frontier Capital Ltd.’s AFC Asia Frontier Fund. Also publishes the Gloom Boom & Doom Report newsletter.
Richard Lawrence (then at Overlook Investments)
Now: Founder and director (but no management role) at the Cool Effect Foundation based in California. For more on Overlook Investments, see my post here.
Cheah Cheng Hye and V-Nee Yeh (then at Value Partners)
Now: Cheah Cheng Hye currently serves as chairman and CIO of Value Partners, which went public in 2007. V-Nee Yeh currently serves as the chairman of Cheetah Investment Management. He is also a co-founder and chairman of Argyle Street Management. He previously served as a member of the Executive Council of the Hong Kong government.
Charles Fowler (then at John Govett)
Now: Involved with a number of charitable and non-profit organisations, including with the Human Values Foundation and the UK Values Alliance. Previously served as CEO of MG Capital, an investment and financial services group.
Angus Tulloch (then at Stewart Ivory)
Now: Following the 2015 split of First State Stewart into Stewart Investors and First State Stewart Asia, Tulloch moved to Stewart Investments where he serves as co-manager of the Asia Pacific fund.
Anthony Cragg (then at Strong/Corneliuson)
Now: Joined Wells Capital Management in 2005 following their asset acquisition of Strong Capital Management. Currently serves as portfolio manager of the Asia Pacific Fund and the Emerging Markets Equity Income Fund.