After four-and-a-half years at Manulife Asset Management in Thailand, Sukkawat Prasurtying has left to join insurance group AIA in Bangkok as deputy CIO.

He started in his new position on June 16, replacing Narongsak Plodmechai, who moved earlier this year to Bangkok-based SCB Asset Management. Prasurtying now reports to Anucha Laokwansatit, CIO of AIA Thailand.

Another equity fund manager will start at AIA in September, replacing a fund manager who left in May to join Phatra Securities in Bangkok, but the insurer declined to reveal the incoming hire’s identity.

AIA, AsianInvestor’s insurance company distributor of the year for 2011, has Bt519.5 trillion ($17.2 billion) in assets under management in Thailand, of which around $600 million comprises third-party pension funds. AIA was formerly the Asian arm of AIG, but was spun out from the US group through an IPO in Hong Kong last October.

Manulife AM, the asset-management arm of Canadian insurer Manulife Financial, is a significantly smaller player in Thailand, with around Bt6 billion in AUM.

Prasurtying left Manulife in June and the firm is seeking a successor. In the interim, Sa-Ngiem Garnjanawigai, chief operating officer in Thailand, will assume his responsibilities. Garnjanawigai will report to Robert Andrew, head of Asean investments at Manulife AM in Hong Kong.

Prasurtying had held the post of CIO for his entire stint at Manulife AM and took on the additional role of chief executive in December.