UK-based fund house Aberdeen Asset Management has hired Alex Ng from First State Investments as its new head of distribution for the region, AsianInvestor can confirm.
Ng is due to join Aberdeen most likely in the second half of March. It comes after she quit First State in mid-December, as exclusively reported by AsianInvestor.
Ian Macdonald, deputy head for Asia Pacific at Aberdeen, also based in Singapore, told AsianInvestor in a statement: “We’re delighted that [Ng] will be joining us soon. She has the enthusiasm, client understanding and seniority we have been seeking to fill a regional distribution role.”
Ng comes in to replace Corinne Cheok, Aberdeen’s previous head of distribution for Asia who retired last September after almost 20 years at the company. Cheok had joined Aberdeen the mid-1990s, originally hired by Peter Douglas to help run sales and marketing. She had served as regional head of distribution for the past five years.
Ng had served for nearly six years at First State Investments, most recently as managing director for Southeast Asia and head of institutional and wholesale business for the region.
She was responsible for formulating strategy, business development and client relationship management across institutional and wholesale business for Asia. She held board director roles for the firm’s China joint venture, as well as Singapore and Hong Kong entities.
Prior to that she served for almost six years as an executive director for Morgan Stanley Investment Management.
A spokeswoman for First State confirmed told AsianInvestor the firm had recently promoted Lauren Prendiville and Vivian Tang to heads of distribution for Southeast Asia and North Asia, respectively, as reported.
Both had been directors previously. They will also cover both wholesale/retail and institutional business. As such First State is splitting Ng’s distribution responsibilities into the two regional segments.
But First State is yet to confirm it has replaced Ng in the role as head of Southeast Asia. The spokeswoman declined to comment when asked if a hiring plan was in place for this.
Ng had reported to Kanesh Lakhani, the London-based managing director for Europe, Middle East and Africa and Asia distribution.
First State has worked on a functional reporting basis in Asia for more than a year, with Michael Stapleton having switched from managing director of First State Investments across Asia Pacific in September 2014 to become managing partner of First State Stewart, a team that manages a range of equity funds.
Aberdeen AM had $430 billion in AUM globally as at the end of September last year, of which $27.1 billion (6.3%) was sourced from clients in Asia Pacific, according to AsianInvestor ‘s top 100 data, due to be published in the next few months.
The firm has seen its global AUM drop 22% from $550 in September 2014. Its Asia assets have fallen 31% over the same period, from $39.3 billion.