Report: CIC hires alternatives head

The Chinese sovereiegn fund has reportedly hired Zhou Yuan, former China head of global investment bank UBS.

China’s $200 billion sovereign wealth fund has hired Zhou Yuan as its head of alternative investments, Reuters reported.

Zhou is currently an advisor to the asset management arm of global financial services company State Street. From 1998 to 2000, he held a senior position at Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing. For four years prior to that, Zhou was the China head of investment bank UBS.

At China Investment Corp, Zhou will be responsible for direct investments and for investments in real estate funds and private equity funds. He will report directly to CIC president Gao Xiqing, the report noted. It quoted a source as saying that he will have the power to approve or veto major deals involving foreign assets.

“He is well known to both Chinese and foreign bankers and he understands Chinese business culture as well as how to deal with business relationships in Western markets, in particular the US. That’s exactly the type of person that CIC is looking for,” another source was quoted as saying.

CIC is building up its team across all investment categories. It currently has about 30 positions on offer available across 11 categories including equity investments, fixed income, macro economic research and alternative investments, according to its website.

The Chinese sovereign fund increased its stake in global alternatives manager The Blackstone Group last month. In February, CIC reportedly made an investment of $4 billion in US buyout firm JC Flowers' latest fund.

CIC did not respond to a request for comment.