Dai Wang, a Hong Kong-based equity analyst with T. Rowe Price Group, will relocate to Shanghai as general manager of a new T. Rowe research office there, the Baltimore-based firm said Monday.
Justin Thomson, T. Rowe's London-based head of international equity and co-head of global equity, in an interview called the firm's new office in Shanghai a statement about T. Rowe's commitment to the Chinese market.
Mr. Wang, a six-year T. Rowe veteran, will recruit a team of five or six analysts over the coming three years with the goal of identifying "tomorrow's Tencents today" in China's fast-growing equity market, Mr. Thomson said.
Mr. Thomson had visited Tencent Holdings in early 2008, when the Shenzhen-based technology giant was still a small-cap firm with a messaging service, resulting in T. Rowe becoming an early investor in the firm. With a market cap now exceeding $800 billion, Tencent has become one of the biggest companies in the world.
"If you can discover a company like Tencent early" — capable of growing at a high rate for a sustained period of time — that amounts to a "cherry on top of the icing on top of the cake" of compound wealth T. Rowe is looking to deliver to shareholders, Mr. Thomson said.
The new office will add to T. Rowe's current lineup of analysts in the region "hunting for really best ideas" on the mainland — including one dedicated A shares analyst in Hong Kong, Dawei Feng, and a number of others who cover A shares as part of broader sector remits, Mr. Thomson said.
While the past few years have been a contentious period for U.S.-China relations, this is likely to stabilize over the long term, Mr. Thomson said. The explosive growth of China's equities markets, meanwhile, is attracting the interest of forward-thinking U.S. institutional investors, he added.