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July 03, 2019  

APS Founder Shedding Chief Executive Role

The founder of APS Asset Management, one of the first Asia-focused hedge fund managers, is giving up the title of chief executive to focus more on investing.

Wong Kok Hoi launched APS in 1995 with $15 million and seven employees working in one office in Singapore. Today, the firm has $3.2 billion under management and 54 employees across six offices in Asia and New York.

Hoi will relinquish his role as chief executive in September, while retaining the title of chief investment officer. His duties on the operations side will be absorbed by co-presidents Mark Brugner and Ken Chung. Brugner is joining APS from a senior-executive role at Willis Towers Watson, while Chung has been on board since 2017.

“This will allow me to focus on portfolio management as well as working with the investment team,” Hoi wrote in a June 27 letter to investors.

The firm’s APS All China Long Short Fund lost 8.1% last year, which was far better than a nearly 25% drop for the Shanghai Composite Index. The All China fund gained 13.4% in the first quarter of this year, and is showing an 8.3% annualized return since inception in 2008. The APS Asia Pacific Long Short (Cayman) Fund has generated an 11.5% annualized return since 2008, including a 3.6% gain last year and 5.5% loss in 2017.

Brugner spent 11 years working for Willis in Asia, most recently as a senior director on the insurance conglomerate’s Hong Kong investment team. His resume also includes stints at Bank Austria Creditanstalt and Macquarie Group’s investment-management unit in Austria.

Before joining APS, Chung worked at Antarctica Asset Management, Vision Investment and Engemann Asset Management.