People Moves

Summary Of Asia-Pacific Executive Moves In Wealth Management – February 2024

Editorial Staff 26 March 2024

Summary Of Asia-Pacific Executive Moves In Wealth Management – February 2024

The latest roundup of moves and appointments in the Asia-Pacific wealth management sector.

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, aka OCBC, created a new division called Group Strategy, Innovation and Sustainability. The unit, which will be set up on 22 April, will be led by Elaine Heng, chief executive of retail business and deputy group CEO at Singapore’s FairPrice Group. (FairPrice comprises the NTUC FairPrice chain of supermarkets and other entities.) Before Fairprice, Heng spent close to 20 years in banking, 15 of which were at Standard Chartered Bank.

Eastspring Investments appointed Vis Nayar as chief investment officer, starting in June. Based in Singapore, Nayar will report to Eastspring’s chief executive officer Bill Maldonado. He will succeed Maldonado who was CIO before his promotion to CEO in September last year, and who has been serving as interim CIO. Nayar will be joining from HSBC Asset Management where he has spent the past 25 years.

MSCI Inc, a provider of decision-support tools and services for the global investment community, hired a new head of client coverage for its Australia and New Zealand business. Shane Edwards was appointed as managing director and head of Australia and New Zealand client coverage, with immediate effect. Based in Sydney, he is responsible for driving MSCI’s commercial activities in Australia and New Zealand markets, managing client relationships and delivering a strategy for clients within Australia and New Zealand and across the APAC region. He reports to Kazuya Nagasawa, head of APAC client coverage. Previously he served in a variety of leadership roles at UBS, including managing director and global head of equity derivatives.

Joy Cheng was appointed head of Citi Commercial Bank (CCB) for Hong Kong in February, succeeding Anson Kwok who retired in January. Cheng is responsible for overseeing the CCB business and operations in Hong Kong and for driving its financial performance. She reports to Gunjan Kalra, head of Citi Commercial Bank for Asia North, Australia and Asia South clusters, and Aveline San, CEO and head of banking for Citi Hong Kong and Macau.

Standard Chartered appointed a new chief executive for its business in Australia: Jacob Berman. Berman took the helm from Mike Samson, who was made CEO of Standard Chartered Philippines and head of client coverage for the Philippines and the ASEAN region of countries in Southeast Asia. Bringing more than two decades’ corporate and investment banking experience to the rule, Berman joined Standard Chartered Singapore in 2012 and was reassigned to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates in 2014 as managing director, global banking. In 2019, Berman was appointed head of client coverage, Japan, a position he held prior to his appointment as Australia CEO.

Morningstar, a provider of independent investing insights, appointed Shihan Abeyguna to the newly-created role of managing director, Southeast Asia. This added to Abeyguna's role as head of business development, Asia and regional leader, Southeast Asia. He still reports to Julie Willoughby, head of global sales at Morningstar.

Australian wealth management platform Centric appointed former Praemium executive Martin Morris as chief client officer. With over 25 years of industry experience, Morris joined from Sequoia Financial Group, where he was chief operating officer. Prior to that, he was chief distribution officer at Australian investment platform Praemium, which caters to the high net worth market.

Janus Henderson appointed Victoria Mio as portfolio manager and head of Greater China equities, based in Singapore. Mio reports to Lucas Klein, head of EMEA and APAC equities. Mio, who has more than two decades of expertise in Chinese equities investment, was at Robeco for 14 years where she last served as chief investment officer China and co-head of Asia-Pacific equities.

Eastspring Investments appointed Salman Haider as chief distribution officer, starting in March. Based in Singapore, Haider reports to Eastspring’s chief executive officer and interim chief investment officer Bill Maldonado. Haider, who brings 25 years’ experience to the role, joined from Habib Bank AG Zurich in Dubai where he was CEO for global wealth management. Prior to that, he worked in the private banking teams at Barclays and JP Morgan, after spending 13 years with Citigroup in various senior roles covering wealth management and global markets.

Savills Investment Management appointed Hsueh Ling Ng to the new role of head of APAC ex-Japan, to capitalise on investment opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region. She reports to Alex Jeffrey, chief executive. Ng joined from Lendlease where she was managing director and country head, Singapore, for over six years, as well as chair of Lendlease global commercial REIT management. Prior to that, she spent eight years as chief executive officer of Keppel REIT Management.

Citi Australia appointed Cristina Chang as head of markets, Citi Australia and New Zealand, subject to regulatory and compliance approvals. Chang succeeded Mark Woodruff, who was appointed Citi Australia CEO in 2023.

Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation appointed former Credit Suisse senior figure Carsten Stoehr as managing director, deputy head of Asia-Pacific. Stoehr had a 25-year career at Credit Suisse prior to the new role.  He was most recently managing director, CEO – Greater China, and chairman of Credit Suisse (HK) Ltd and Credit Suisse Securities (HK) Ltd.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) said its chairman, Chen Siqing, had resigned. The group, one of China’s largest banks which includes private banking in its service lines, said Chen Siqing resigned “due to his age” rather than as a result of any disputes with colleagues. Chen Siqing served in the role for five years.

The corporate and investment banking arm of Natixis, part of France-headquartered of Groupe BPCE, made a number of hires for its Asia-Pacific global markets team: 

-- Olivier Abitbol, head of flow rates sales, Asia-Pacific, based in Singapore; 
-- Min Ni, joined to cover liquids and forex trading, based in Shanghai; 
-- David Rebibo, joined to cover global market sales, based in Hong Kong; 
-- Guo Sheng Soh, joined to cover fixed income sales, Southeast Asia, based in Singapore; 
-- Kelvin Sze, joined to cover emerging market trading, APAC, based in Hong Kong; 
-- Cliff Choute, joined as head of market making index trading, APAC, based in Hong Kong; 
-- Ilan Guez, joined as head of equity stock trading, APAC, based in Hong Kong; 
-- Ting Ting Rao, joined to cover equity financial engineering, based in Hong Kong; and 
-- Kai Zhi Woo, joined to cover solutions sales, Southeast Asia, based in Singapore.

Natixis CIB also made a number of hires in Japan:

-- Hidetomo Kurachi, head of cross asset solutions sales; 
-- Hiroto Minagawa, cross asset solutions sales; 
-- Tomokazu Matsuo, head of equity financial engineering; 
-- Aki Nitaburu, macro sales; and 
-- Tetsuya Onishi, head of GSF solution marketing and fixed income financial engineering.

A venerable figure in Asia’s banking industry, Dr Wee Cho Yaw, chairman emeritus and advisor to United Overseas Bank (UOB), died at the age of 95. UOB described Dr Wee as a “visionary banker, celebrated businessman and community pillar,” who was “pivotal to UOB’s development as a leading bank in Asia.” Dr Wee led the Singapore-headquartered bank – which provides private banking as part of its offerings – for more than five decades. During his tenure, UOB expanded from a single-branch bank to a regional player present in 19 countries and territories.

Bank of Singapore appointed Melanio Manjoy Lazaro as market head and chief representative of its Philippines representative office. Lazaro reports to Robin Heng, global market head of BoS. At BoS for more than a decade, Manjoy was most recently appointed the interim chief representative of the Philippines rep office in September last year.

FalconX, an institutional digital assets prime brokerage, hired Ivan Lim as trading manager, APAC derivatives, based in the firm’s Singapore offices. Lim has spent 12 years on the sell-side as a derivative trader managing crypto and foreign exchange portfolios. His experience includes principal market-making, risk management and execution strategies. He has worked at Citibank and CIC and was head of trading at Sparrow Exchange. He also led franchise development at Genesis Global Trading in 2021.

Citigroup appointed one of its senior figures, Luk Lu, as head of banking for China and Citi country officer. He took over the helm from Christine Lam, who retired from the US bank. In his new role, Lu reports to Angel Ng, head of Asia North and Australia, Cluster and Banking. Lu joined the bank in Shanghai in 2002.

Takakiyo Iwamoto was appointed representative and director of GAM Japan Limited in Tokyo. Iwamoto joined GAM as head of distribution in Japan in October 2023. Prior to joining GAM Investments, he worked for Barclays Securities Japan Limited as senior sales manager responsible for developing quantitative investment strategies for large financial institutions. Before that, Iwamoto was a senior sales executive at State Street Global Advisors (Japan) Co Ltd and worked for JP Morgan Securities Japan Ltd in equity and fund derivative marketing. 

Preqin, which issues data on alternative investment areas such as hedge funds, private equity and real estate, appointed Fabien Chen to the newly-created role of global head of benchmarks, based in Singapore. Cameron Joyce, based in London, became the global head of research insights, heading the creation and development of Preqin’s institutional research. Additionally, Gurkan Tasoren, also based in Singapore, was hired to drive Preqin’s sales teams across the Asia-Pacific region as APAC head of sales. 

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