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8 November 2011

Asia Executive Moves Round-Up: October 2011

Tara Loader Wilkinson and Vanessa Doctor

Here WealthBriefingAsia recalls the biggest movers and shakers of the Asian wealth management industry during October 2011.

- Julius Baer hired private banking veteran and Goldman Sachs executive Kaven Leung as chief executive of its North Asia business and as deputy chief of Asia. Leung adds the position to his existing role as co-head of the Asian private banking business. He begins on his new job on 19 April 2012. He replaces Andrea Benenati, who left in May. Asia CEO Dr Thomas Meier is assuming the top job on an interim basis.

- Switzerland's Credit Suisse hired Anna Wong as a managing director and market area head for its Greater China private banking business. She is based in Hong Kong reporting to Marcel Kreis, head of private banking in Asia-Pacific. From January 2012, she will report to Francesco de Ferrari who takes over the role as head of private banking Asia-Pacific. Wong was most recently chief executive for HSBC Broking Services (Asia) between 2009 and 2011. 

- PIMCO, the US investment management firm, hired Adam Bowe as senior vice president for fixed income portfolio management and trading in Australia. Bowe most recently worked in the global macroeconomic research and trading department of Tudor Investment Corporation.

- ANZ Wealth, the Australian wealth management firm, hired Raelen Seales as head of advice delivery. Seales most recently served as general manager for advice services at rival MLC/NAB Wealth.

- Baring Asset Management added William Palmer to its global emerging markets equities team as investment director. Palmer joined from KBC Asset Management, where he was senior asset manager and head of Asia ex-Japan equities.

- HSBC Global Asset Management appointed Elizabeth Allen as director and head of credit research for Asia-Pacific. Allen most recently served as vice president, senior credit officer at Moody's Investors Services, where she focused on analyzing Asian companies.

- HSBC Securities Services appointed Glenn Kennedy as regional head of sales and relationship management for the Asia-Pacific alternatives and client management division. Based in Hong Kong, Kennedy joined from Citi Fund Services (Asia), where he was a director for four years.

- Julius Baer, the Swiss private bank, hired Victor Chao Tzu-Ping as head of the Greater China team. Chao joined from Deutsche Bank where he most recently served as head of private wealth management in China and previously as head of private wealth management onshore in Taiwan.

- Manulife International appointed two senior executives to its Hong Kong office. Emil Lee is now senior vice president and chief distribution officer for Hong Kong, while Blair Groff is now vice president for legal and compliance. Both previously held roles at Manulife. Both are now part of the senior management team and report to Michael Huddart, the executive vice president and chief executive for Hong Kong. 

- PineBridge Investments, the US-based investment management firm, appointed Desmond Tjiang as managing director, portfolio manager for Greater China and Hong Kong. Tjiang joined from BNP Paribas Investment Partners, where he was chief investment officer and deputy head of Asia ex-Japan equities. He reports to Robin Thorn, global head of equities.

- Bermuda-headquartered FIL - recently rebranded as Fidelity Worldwide Investment hired Thomas Balk, formerly president of its Japanese business, to the new position of president, financial services. He will report to FIL vice-chairman Barry Bateman.

- Westpac Private Bank named former New Zealand cabinet minister and parliamentarian Simon Power as head of the New Zealand operations. Westpac holds the New Zealand government's banking contract, media reports said.

- US international asset manager PIMCO hired five investment professionals to complete the emerging market equity team for its London, New York and Singapore offices. Raymond Goh joined as equity trader based in the Singapore office. John Longhurst joined as senior vice president and head of emerging markets equity research, based in London. Richard Flax joined as senior vice president and emerging markets equity analyst, also based in the London office; Andrew Pyne joined a senior vice president and emerging markets equity product manager based in the New York office and Laura Schlockman joined as equity product manager based also based in New York.

- Bank of America Merrill Lynch named its head of international wealth management, Dan Cummings, the firm's former head of global equity capital markets. The position is a newly created, joint role, where he will also be head of global equity sales.

- Switzerland's Clariden Leu added two senior executives to its Asian non-resident Indian team. Mohit Gupta joined as senior vice president, senior relationship manager for the Indian subcontinent and Asian NRI business. Gupta is from ING Financial Planning in Hong Kong. Sadaf Behbahany joined as senior vice president, senior relationship manager for the Indian subcontinent and Asian NRI business based in Singapore. She was previously a senior associate director at Standard Chartered Private Bank. Both Gupta and Behbahany report directly to Varun Chugh, the head of Indian subcontinent and NRI Asia. 

- Clariden Leu also added five senior executives for the Southeast Asia region, four of which previously worked at Deutsche Bank's private wealth management arm. Veny Teng joins the firm as managing director, responsible for overseeing a team of relationship managers focused on Southeast Asia. She most recently served as director at Deutsche Bank Private Wealth. Desmond Loh also joined from Deutsche Bank, as director and senior relationship manager. Cynthia Chin joined  as a director and senior relationship manager, also from the German bank. Both Loh and Chin report directly to Teng. Karen Tong joined as a relationship manager, having worked for ABN AMRO, DBS, Hong Leong Bank and HSBC. Elaine Ngim joined as an investment advisor and previously worked at BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch, among others. She reports to Lincoln Wong, head of investment advisory for Southeast Asia.

- Jones Lang LaSalle, the New York-listed commercial property and investment firm, hired David Green-Morgan as global capital markets research director based in Singapore. Green-Morgan joins from DTZ, the London-listed real estate advisor, where he was head of research for Asia-Pacific. He replaces Paul Guest, who moved to LaSalle Investment Management to head up its Asia Pacific Strategy team.

- Altamount Capital Management, the India-based multi-family office, named Murlidhara Kadaba as non-executive chairman. He was until recently senior managing director guiding its strategy and business development.

- Pictet Asset Management, the Swiss asset manager, hired Laurence Lo as vice president, business development, for Asia-Pacific. Lo was the senior manager, distribution sales at BNP Paribas Investment Partners. At Pictet, he focuses on the firm's business in Hong Kong and Macau and reports to Lawrence Tse, head of distribution, Asia-Pacific. 

- Manulife Financial appointed Steven Yeo as senior vice president and chief legal and compliance officer for Asia with effect from 10 October. Yeo was previously the managing director of Citi's global institutional banking group. At Manulife, he reports to Robert Cook, senior EVP and general manager for Asia, and functionally to Jean-Paul Bisnaire, senior VP for business development and general counsel of the head office.

- Nikko Asset Management, the Japanese financial services firm, named Eleanor Seet as president and executive director to lead the firm's growth at the newly-enlarged business following its merger with DBS Asset Management. Seet was the senior director for iShares. She replaces Deborah Ho.

- MLC, the wealth arm of National Australia Bank, created nine new advisory roles across Australia for its licensee business. The appointees will be announced over the next months.

- Credit Suisse appointed Stuart Guinness as Hong Kong-based managing director and head of emerging markets products for Asia-Pacific. He reports jointly to Neil Harvey, head of Asia-Pacific and head of global emerging markets, and to Sudip Thakor, head of global emerging markets products for asset management. Guinness previously worked at Societe Generale, Fidelity Investments and Prudential Asset Management. 

- Citibank named Christine Lam as deputy country business manager based in Hong Kong. Lam was the head of operations and technology of the bank in Hong Kong. She replaces Simon Chow, who was appointed country business manager for Citibank China in June.

- Private Portfolio Managers, the Sydney private fund manager, named Ian Hardy to its portfolio management team. Hardy was previously the chief investment officer of Centric Portfolio Managers.

- Falcon Private Bank saw the departure of Alex Jagmetti as head of Asia-Pacific after less than a year at the role. The bank said they are not replacing Jagmetti. James Mok, who has reported to Jagmetti as branch manager in Hong Kong, now reports to Eduardo Leemann, chief executive.

- Lugano-based Banca della Svizzera Italiana announced plans to grow its Hong Kong office headcount by over 80 per cent, or 54 people, within the next year. BSI currently has 66 staff.

- HSBC Global Asset Management brought in Christopher Adams as director and senior products specialist for the equities division based in Hong Kong. Adams used to serve similar roles at BlackRock and Prudential Asset Management. He now reports to Alfred Yip, the head of product, Asia-Pacific, and Melissa McDonald, the global head of product equities and responsible investment.

- AMP Financial Services, the New Zealand wealth manager, reshuffled its senior ranks following the merger with AXA Asia-Pacific Holdings. Chris Jensen is now director of contemporary wealth management products, Robert Baille is now director of pricing, Steven Burgess is now director of platforms, and Brad Green is now director of business operations. Mike Lawrence and John McIlroy retain their roles as managing director of AMP Bank and director of Multiport, respectively. Within the sales unit, Barry Wyatt is now director of sales, Michael Paff is now director of strategic marketing and Cam Cimino is now director of business marketing. Former AMP head of directors office Belinda Meyers is now director of business operations. Under the wealth division, Michael Rogers is now director of retail risk, Robert Bergin is now director of group risk, while Bernadene Gordon is now director for underwriting and claims policy. Gopal Raman has assumed the role as director of mature products and business support while Stephen Varney was named director of pricing and reinsurance. 

- Celent's appointed Maria Aquio as sales executive for its Asian financial services arm. Aquio previously worked at The Asian Banker, the consultancy firm, as manager of business development and sales. She is based in Singapore.

- UBS suffered the departures of Angela Bow and Carol Chen from the firm. Bow was the executive director and country head for the Philippines, while Chen as managing director and desk head. It remains unclear where Bow is transferring, but UBS reported that Chen has joined Barclays Wealth in Singapore as head of North Asia, with a focus on Greater China.

- Pictet, the Geneva-based bank, hired Sylvain Gysler as head of independent assets managers for its Asia business based in Singapore. Gysler previously held a similar role at Credit Suisse.

- PineBridge Investments appointed Anita Varga as managing director and head of product development for Asia. Varga previously led the regional product development unit of ING Investment Management Asia-Pacific.

- ABN AMRO, the Dutch bank, is looking to boost its private banker numbers in Hong Kong and Singapore from around 100 at present to at least 200 by 2016. The bank currently employs some 400 staff in Asia, 235 of which are in Singapore and the remainder in Hong Kong.

- BNP Paribas, the French bank, announced the hires of six senior executives over the April to October 2011 period. Alfred Tsai joined as head of the China market with effect from 18 October. Tsai was previously a managing director and senior advisor at Julius Baer. Anton Wong joined on the same date as managing director of the key clients group. Wong used to be a director for solutions partners at Credit Suisse. Vincent Koo had been assuming the position of regional head of wealth management compliance since 27 September. Koo previously held senior audit and compliance positions at Deloitte & Touche, Hang Seng Bank and UBS. Brian Kenyon joined in 1 July to become managing director of the Singapore trust division, in addition to his role as deputy head of trust and fiduciary services. Wallace Woo was hired 13 June as managing director and senior investment counseller for key clients based in Hong Kong. Woo used to work at JP Morgan and HSBC Private bank. Finally, Florence Chou assumed the role of head of brand and communications Asia-Pacific in 1 June. Chou previously worked for RBS Coutts and Merrill Lynch. She is based in Hong Kong.

- Citi hired Andrea Fletcher as head of global equities client management based in Hong Kong. Fletcher will continue her role as head of client management for equities in Asia-Pacific in addition to her new role. She reports to David Covin, the global head of investor sales client strategy and business development, and David Ratliff, head of investor sales for Asia-Pacific.

- The Wealth Management Institute of Singapore has established a group tasked to review standards and guidelines for training wealth management professionals. The WMI curriculum and FICS Review Advisory Committee is chaired by Ng Kok Song, the chairman and group chief investment officer of GIC. Assisting Ng are directors Aaron Low and Cynthia Teong. 

- Centric Wealth, the Australian wealth manager, saw 14 of its executives and staff resign following the departure of three of its most senior executives. These included senior risk manager Brian Zanker, implementation manager Chris Cutter, mergers and acquisitions manager John Hart, marketing manager Jon Slack and client experience and HR manager Judith Fiander. Others who left were head of investments Peter Dobriveck and director of portfolio construction Ashley Own. The mass departure followed the resignation of chief executive John McMurdo in July due to a disagreement. Chief financial officer Geoff Scott and company chairman Phil Kelly followed suit.