Allianz Global Investors has big plans to build its business in Asia through a number of ways this year. The firm is planning to offer a wide range of new products in Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea; it plans to set up operations in India and Japan; and it is exploring how best to take advantage of ChinaÆs qualified domestic institutional investor programme.

Douglas Eu, CEO at Allianz Global Investors Asia-Pacific, says one goal is to work closely with major cross-border fund distributors across the region. In Hong Kong, for instance, the firm will offer funds managed by Nicholas-Applegate and Oppenheimer Capital, which are other investment management companies within the Allianz Global Investors group. In Taiwan and South Korea, the firm will broaden its fund range through the introduction of new products.

ôHopefully, we will be able to make firm announcements later this year about the development of businesses in Japan and India,ö says Eu, without giving further details.

Allianz Global Investors recently made a number of senior staff appointments in the Asia-Pacific region.

Lewis Leung has been named head of mutual funds for Asia-Pacific. Lawrence Tse has been named chief marketing officer for Hong Kong. Patience Chan has been named head of marketing and corporate communications for Asia-Pacific.

In his new role, Leung reports to Eu and is responsible for focusing on the growth of Allianz Global Investors' mutual fund business in Asia-Pacific and broadening its range of products in the region. Leung has more than 16 years of industry experience gained in Hong Kong, the US and, most recently, in Beijing where he was head of international business for mainland fund management company Harvest Fund.

Tse replaces Alex Lee and reports to Eleanor Wan, CEO of Allianz Global Investors Hong Kong and is responsible for managing the firmÆs marketing, business development and client servicing functions. He has over 10 years of experience in the asset management industry and was previously with Schroder Investment Management.

Patience Chan joined Allianz Global Investors in Hong Kong in 2005 and was until recently its senior marketing communications manager. She takes the place of Karima Khan, who moved to credit Agricole Asset Management last year. Chan reports to George McKay, chief operating officer of Allianz Global Investors Asia-Pacific.

Allianz Global Investors, which manages around Ç970 billion worldwide, is a subsidiary of management holding company Allianz SE. The firm offers clients a range of products including those from Pimco, RCM, Oppenheimer Capital, NFJ, Nicholas-Applegate.