Acadian Asset Management Singapore has hired Yew Weng Ho from Vanguard Investments as director of institutional sales for Asia ex-Japan as it seeks to double Asian AUM within three years.

Ho joined Acadian on August 22. His function had been carried out by Rick Barry, managing director of the Singapore office and director of sales for Asia and Australia.

As an addition to the team, Ho has been hired to focus on Asia ex-Japan and reports to Barry, who will now concentrate on Japan and Australia.

This latest hire brings Acadian's Singapore office up to 11 people (7% of its global staff level), covering portfolio management and construction, research, IT and trading.

Ho will focus predominantly on mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, as well as Singapore, targeting sovereign wealth funds and large institutional investors. 

Acadian Singapore is a wholly owned affiliate of Acadian Asset Management, a Boston-based manager that specialises in active global and international equity strategies, managed volatility equity strategies and emerging markets fixed income. It applies proprietary predictive techniques to analyse securities worldwide.

As at July 31, Acadian managed $49.9 billion in assets under management, of which some $5 billion was sourced from Asia-Pacific.

Ross Dowd, senior vice-president and head of global marketing and client service for Acadian, says the firm plans to double Asian AUM and staff within the next three years. "Our view is that the Asian business will be a significant area of growth for Acadian," he tells AsianInvestor.

He says the company is intent on expanding its global and emerging markets equity strategies. It is also eager to promote the merits of its managed volatility strategies, which seek to find alpha within low-volatility stocks.

This is predominantly targeted at large, long-term investors who might want to replace a core cap-weighted index fund with such a strategy, typically within a portfolio featuring highly concentrated active managers, he suggests. The firm runs a US, EM and global version of this strategy.

Dowd notes that the firm is in talks about launching an Asia ex-Japan equities strategy (it already runs an Asia-Pacific one), and an Asia-Pacific debt strategy to complement its emerging markets debt capability. Initially these would be introduced on a discretionary basis but eventually as funds, potentially next year.

Ho most recently worked as managing director at Vanguard Investments Singapore, where he focused on managing institutional relationships in North Asia. Prior to that he was director of business development and marketing at UOB Asset Management in Singapore. He also worked for nine years at the Singapore Economic Development Board.