Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia) has hired Suresh Sadasivan from Legal & General Investment Management (L&G IM) as head of Asia ex-Japan internal equities.

Sadasivan, who left L&G IM in London on May 22, relocates to Abu Dhabi for his new role and reports to Mohamed Darwish Al Khoori, executive director of internal equities. He replaces Lars Sorensen, who left earlier this year for personal reasons.

Adia's internal equities department is responsible for investing directly into the global equity markets, rather than through external fund managers, which is under the remit of its external equities department. One source says that both the index funds department and external fund managers department are allocated a higher percentage of assets to invest in its equities portfolio.

L&G IM declined to comment on whether Sadasivan has been or would be replaced.

The appointment comes after Adia, estimated to be managing $750 billion, received a $300 million quota in January to buy A-shares under China's qualified foreign institutional investor (QFII) scheme, raising its allocation to $1 billion.

According to Adia’s annual report released in May, the fund made a 20-year annualised return of 7.6% in 2012.

Part of that was driven by Adia’s EM stock exposure, which gained 18.6%, outperforming developed equities by two percentage points.

Equity investors last year “proved their increased resilience to external shocks by looking beyond seemingly endless debates on economic and political issues, such as the ‘US fiscal cliff’, and fears of a hard landing in China”, says the annual report.

In the long term, Adia says emerging markets will outperform developed markets although will likely remain volatile.

Before joining L&G IM in 2011, Sadasivan had worked at Singapore-based hedge fund JL Capital as director of equities, with a focus on long/short Asian equities. He has also worked at Old Mutual Asset Management, where he was head of emerging markets.

Other recent hires include John McCarthy in May as head of infrastructure. McCarthy came from RREEF, Deutsche Bank's alternative investment arm. He came to replace Chris Koski, who joined Morgan Stanley earlier this year.