The $200 billion China Investment Corporation (CIC) will base its selection of hedge fund managers on advice from the Sydney-based team of a major asset consultant.

Li Ya, a principal in CIC’s external investment manager selection team, confirmed that Mercer Investment Consulting had been contracted by the sovereign wealth fund to assist in hedge fund selection. It is understood that New Zealander Gary Hawker, Mercer’s Shanghai-based head of investment consulting for the Asia-Pacific (ex-Japan), is closely involved with the hedge fund selection work but that much of the research is being performed by Dragana Timotijevic’s Sydney-based team, in particular Harry Liem. It is not known what stage the selection process has reached, but the CIC is yet to appoint any hedge funds, or in fact any external investment managers at all. This is not the first time that Mercer has assisted a Chinese sovereign wealth fund. Hawker ran a global equities manager search for the $74 billion National Social Security Fund of China in 2006.

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