Neuberger Berman has soft-closed its China-focused equity strategy managed by Citywire AAA-rated Lihui Tang and Frank Yao after nearing the $1.5 billion ceiling across its US and Ucits funds, as well as segregated mandates.

The duo sit second and third in the Equity – Greater China sector out of the 82 active in the sector for their performance across all their China funds.

In a circular to shareholders, Neuberger Berman said it ceased to accept new money into the fund after breaching $1.25 billion in assets. The move is designed to allow Yao and Tang to operate the fund’s philosophy effectively.

Neuberger Berman said it would close the fund to all investors, including existing shareholders, when it hits $1.5 billion in assets under management.

The Dublin-domiciled Neuberger Berman China Equity fund, which was launched in July 2009, has $1.16 billion in assets. This is while the US fund, which launched in 2013, has $131 million in assets.

Yao and Tang were previously in-house at Neuberger Berman but opted to spin out their own boutique called Green Court Capital Management in April. Neuberger Berman retains a passive stake in the company.

The Neuberger Berman China Equity fund has returned 56.9% in US dollar terms over the three years to the end of August 2017. This compares to a rise of 30.8% by its Citywire-assigned benchmark, the MSCI Zhong Hua TR USD, over the same timeframe.