Yesterday saw another management change at ING Investment Management in Asia – this time at the very top – with the announcement that Alan Harden will be moving on. AsianInvestor has been unable to ascertain his destination as yet.

Harden took over as Asia-Pacific chief executive in Hong Kong from Chris Ryan at a rather inopportune time – shortly before the Lehman Brothers collapse in September 2008. Ryan joined Citi’s securities and fund services unit in April after almost two years as managing director of Fidelity’s Asia business. 

And uncertainty still clouds ING's future. As ING IM executives have commented to AsianInvestor in recent months, it's still unclear how the group's insurance and investment-management assets will be divested, as required by the European Commission in October.

Harden’s replacement, Grant Bailey, has been with the Dutch group for nearly nine years, most recently as Asia-Pacific regional general manager for ING IM. In that role, he was responsible for the businesses in China, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand, and for institutional sales across the region.

Bailey was Australia CEO of ING IM from 2003 until 2007, before moving to Dubai to establish the firm’s investment operations in the Middle East. Before joining ING, he was with Citigroup Asset Management.

Prior to joining ING, Harden was CEO of Alliance Trust, a financial services and investment management firm in the UK. He has spent over 20 years in Asia and the Middle East, at companies such as Wardley (now HSBC Global Asset Management), Scimitar Investment Management (then part of Standard Chartered’s asset-management operations) and Standard Chartered’s consumer-banking division as global head of investment services. He also spent three-and-a-half years as Asia-Pacific head of Citigroup Asset Management based in Japan.

Harden's exit follows ING IM's replacement last month of Paul van Eynde as Singapore CEO with Chandrima Das, previously head of wholesale sales and business development. In addition, former BGI executive Monita Chon joined in May as regional manager of North Asia to succeed Edward Wu.

Van Eynde has relocated to Europe as head of mutual funds for Belgium at ING IM, while Wu joined Swiss asset manager Vontobel last month as head of institutional sales.