Industries – Power: First

Pierre Lau
& team
“They do a fantastic job of keeping investors informed.”

Claiming a seventh straight appearance in the winner’s circle is the ten-member Citi troupe led by Pierre Lau, 42. The Hong Kong–based team leader “is very helpful in keeping me updated on news flow, which is valuable given that I am based in New York and it is difficult to keep up on developments in China,” explains one buy-side advocate. “He always responds to my e-mails, even when it’s late at night his time.” Other money managers praise the group’s stock-picking prowess. One example: The analysts urged clients to buy Huadian Power International Corp. in April 2012, at HK$1.75, on improved profitability at the China-based electricity distributor, which operates coal- and gas-powered plants. In August, after the stock had climbed a sizzling 40.6 percent, to HK$2.46, and led the sector by 36.8 percentage points, they downgraded it to sell, in anticipation of poor second- and third-quarter performance deriving from historical cost burdens. The shares tumbled to HK$2.14 in mid-November, and the researchers raised them back to buy, “expecting better profitability ahead,” Lau says. By the end of April, Huadian’s stock price had nearly doubled, rising to HK$4.26, and shot past the sector by 84.2 percentage points. — Pam Baker