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Monday, July 09, 2012

Dimensional's Got a New Asia CEO [UPDATED]

Reported by Irene Park

Dimensional Fund Advisors has confirmed Peng Chen's appointment as CEO of Asia (ex-Japan). As of July 1, Chen has been overseeing the opening of new offices in Singapore and Hong Kong.

The MFWire reported in late May that Chen was leaving Morningstar at the end of the June. He decided to move back to Asia to be closer to his family, Morningstar chairman and CEO Joe Mansueto had told the MFWire at the time.

In a phone conversation with MFWire today, Chen listed a number of motivations for joining Dimensional, including the opportunity to bring Dimensional's academic research-based investing to Asia and a desire to be closer to family in China. He also cited the opportunity to work with leaders like Robert Merton, Myron Scholes, Eugene Fama and Kenneth French, who he called "giants in the finance and investment area."

"I think Dimensional is a not just a phenomenal firm, but really the approach is very unique," Chen said. "To bring those to Asia is really exciting. That's something that we are really keen on doing, and I believe we'll bring a rather unique strategy to the market and help investors reach their investment goals over time."

"We'd also like to work with a local constituencies in Asia and build certain solutions that, instead of just bringing what we have in the U.S., we build solutions locally as well," he added. As CEO, Asia, Chen will be splitting his time between Singapore and Hong Kong. He expected at least one of the new offices to be set up around the end of Q3 or early Q4, "certainly before the end of the year."

In addition to his role as CEO, Chen will also serve as a member of the investment policy committee.

Read below for the company statement on Chen's hiring.


Dimensional Fund Advisors Appoints Peng Chen CEO for Asia (ex-Japan)

Austin, Texas (July 9, 2012)—Dimensional Fund Advisors announced today the appointment of Peng Chen as CEO, Asia (ex-Japan). Chen joined Dimensional on July 1 from Morningstar, where he served as president of its global investment management division.

“We are delighted to have Peng join Dimensional. He’s the perfect person to spearhead our strategic expansion into Asia,” said Eduardo Repetto, co-CEO and Chief Investment Officer at Dimensional. “Peng has impressive management experience and a keen understanding of clients’ needs. He’s also been a thought leader on a wide range of investment management issues, and his experience is the perfect complement to Dimensional’s academic-based approach to investing.”

Founded in the US in 1981, Dimensional has built a strong presence in the Asia Pacific region through its trading base and Australian business in Sydney and its US operations. In addition, Dimensional has a number of marquee institutional clients throughout Asia. In a natural extension of this growth, the company plans to open offices in Singapore and Hong Kong over the coming year. These will complement the well-established operations in the US, Australia, Europe, and Canada.

In addition to his role as CEO, Asia (ex-Japan), Chen will be a member of Dimensional’s Investment Policy Committee. The firm also plans to leverage his extensive experience in the global defined contribution marketplace as it continues to expand its business in that arena.

Chen served as president of Morningstar’s global investment management division since January 2010. Prior to that, he served as president and chief investment officer at Ibbotson Associates. He is an editorial board member of the Financial Analysts Journal and a contributing editor for the Asian Financial Planning Journal. He was named to the Investment Advisor list of the “25 Most Influential Individuals” in 2008 and won one of the Financial Analysts Journal’s prestigious Graham and Dodd Scroll Awards three times—in 2011, 2006, and 2003 for research papers he has co-authored. Chen holds a PhD and MS in consumer economics from Ohio State University and a BS in industrial engineering from the Harbin Institute of Technology in China.

About Dimensional

Dimensional Fund Advisors is a global asset management firm with over $245 billion of assets under management by the Dimensional Group of companies as of March 31, 2012. An investment advisor registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP is headquartered in Austin, Texas, with offices in the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia. Founded in 1981, Dimensional offers research-based investment strategies that seek to provide higher expected returns. There are currently eleven leading financial economists directly associated with the Dimensional Group (or the US Dimensional Funds) as directors or consultants, including Nobel laureates Robert Merton and Myron Scholes, and financial theory pioneers Eugene Fama and Kenneth French. Dimensional offers clients a full suite of equity and fixed income strategies.

Faith Yando, VP Global Public Relations
512/306-4366, 512/569-3295 (mobile)

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