Saigon Asset Management Hires CIO

SAM 24th September, 2009

Asian Investor- The Ho Chi Minh City-based firm is set to launch more funds following the appointment of a new chief investment officer.

Saigon Asset Management has appointed Hoang Nguyen as chief investment officer (CIO), a post that had been vacant for over a year. Chief Executive and Chairman Louis Nguyen had previously been CIO of Anpha Capital until the firm changed its name to Saigon Asset Management in mid-2008.

Hoang Nguyen was previously an investment manager at Zurich Financial Services in Zurich, overseeing Sfr5 billion ($4.89 billion) of assets. He was also formerly a portfolio manager at UBS in Zurich, Luxembourg and New York, where he was responsible for a portfolio of over $500 million of private client wealth, with a focus on European, Japanese and North American assets.

“To have someone with Hoang’s track record and accomplishments on the ground in Vietnam is certainly a rare occurrence,” says Louis Nguyen. “This is truly a win-win for our firm and investors.”

Hoang Nguyen says: “The decision was simple after I spent significant time with the team. I understood the opportunities and chose to join a top fund manager in the emerging country of Vietnam. Our challenges will be in our execution ability in sourcing great deal flow and having clear exit plans for each investment we make.”

SAM is in the process of launching new, highly differentiated investment funds focusing on equities and real estate in Vietnam. “The details of the new funds are being finalised,” says Louis Nguyen. “We are launching them now based on what we see as demand from investors seeking to invest in Vietnam through more innovative vehicles with less fees and carry.”

Established in 2007, Saigon AM is the investment manager for Vietnam Equity Holding (VEH) and Vietnam Property Holding (VPH), which are both Cayman Islands investment funds listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and Xetra. The firm also provides M&A advisory services for multinationals seeking Vietnam entry.

In 2008, VEH lost 24% in NAV and VPH broke even, while this year, VEH has returned 55% to date, while VPH is returning 20%, Louis Nguyen said yesterday.

As for source of assets, 80% of funds are sourced from Europe, 10% from the US and 10% from Asia. None is sourced from Vietnam, as the process for Vietnamese citizens to invest in foreign funds has not been legalised, says Louis Nguyen.