Aberdeen Standard Investments’ Alex Boggis, a long-standing senior executive at the UK fund house in Hong Kong, will leave the firm at the end of this month, after recent leadership changes in Asia.

Julia Chen will succeed him as Asia-Pacific head of insurance coverage, while remaining in Taipei as head of institutional sales for Taiwan, said a spokesman for the firm. 

Boggis had joined Aberdeen Asset Management in London 23 years ago and moved to head the Hong Kong business in 2000. In April last year, he became investment director for insurance on the business development team after the announcement of the firm's merger with Standard Life the month before. 

Boggis told AsianInvestor he is on gardening leave and would remain in Hong Kong for now, adding that it was "time for a break". 

LEADERSHIP SHUFFLE

His departure comes after Aberdeen Standard hired David Lam in August as head of Hong Kong and Andrew Hendry in April as Asia-Pacific head of distribution based in Singapore.

Lam had previously served as chairman of the advisory board at Hong Kong multi-family office Carret Private and head of North Asia at private bank Coutts. Before that, he was Asia-Pacific head of Swiss fund manager GAM from 2002 to 2013.

Alex Boggis

Hendry had previously been managing director of Hong Kong-based Westoun Advisors and before that Asia head of UK-based M&G Investments. 

Another recent senior departure from the insurance coverage team at Aberdeen Standard is that of London-based James Hughes, whose responsibilities have been assumed by Ian McDonald, London-based global head of strategic client solutions.

Hughes joined France’s Natixis Investment Managers last month to run its dynamic solutions business. He had also previously served as global chief investment officer at HSBC Insurance, based in Hong Kong.

Moreover, Aberdeen Standard hired Alex Hoctor-Duncan from rival fund house BlackRock in September as global sales director and head of distribution for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, reporting to Campbell Fleming, global head of distribution.
 
London-based Hoctor-Duncan will replace Phil Barker, who will retire at the end of 2018 after 20 years with Aberdeen Standard.
 
TOUGH TIMES

These changes come as Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA), the overall group's name, has suffered several setbacks since the merger, particularly in its home market.

In July, UK wealth manager St James’s Place said it was switching its £286 million ($376 million) ethical fund from SLA to be run by Impax Asset Management.

And London-based Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) said in February it would pull an £109 billion portfolio from SLA (over competition issues sparked by the merger), accounting for more than a sixth of the fund house’s £646 billion in assets under management. 

However, SLA continues to manage the mandate and is in discussions with LBG, said the spokesman. SLA has informed the bank that it does not believe SLA was in material competition in the UK with LBG and that, therefore, SLA does not consider that LBG, Scottish Widows or their respective affiliates have the right to terminate the investment management agreement. 

After the merger was announced on March 6, Standard Life Aberdeen’s shares gained 17% to peak at £4.47 on August 4, but have since plunged 40% to £2.70 as of October 16.