The Asian businesses of two big European asset managers have lost legal and compliance veterans, prized commodities amid the growing burden of regulation in the financial sector.
Florence Chan left her post as Asia-Pacific head of compliance at Allianz Global Investors last month to join Natixis Global Asset Management as Asia-Pacific ex-Japan head of compliance. She replaces Royston Eio, but NGAM declined to say when he left.
Hong Kong-based Chan spent seven years at AllianzGI. Before that, she was Asia-Pacific head of asset management compliance at Credit Suisse and also held compliance roles at Franklin Templeton and Prudential Financial. She is currently vice chairman of the regulatory sub-committee of the Hong Kong Investment Funds Association.
Meanwhile, Karina Tang, legal adviser on China and former Asia-Pacific general counsel at Schroder Investment Management, retired in December. The UK firm did not respond to queries about whether she had been or would be replaced as legal adviser.
She had spent 18 years with Schroders. Tang had held the legal adviser role for nine months, before which she held various legal and compliance roles, including Asia-Pacific general counsel.
She had been succeeded as general counsel by Rivkah Mellor-Bessant on April 1, 2014. Now based in Singapore, Mellor-Bessant was previously a senior member in the legal team at Schroders in London.
It is understood that AllianzGI is looking for a replacement, but a spokeswoman declined to comment.
Competition has grown increasingly fierce among fund managers, including alternative investment firms, for legal and compliance talent as the regulatory burden has risen globally.
Moving in-house from a law firm could mean that individuals would need to take a pay cut. This is a difficult call given that lawyers joining in-house may need up to 10 years of experience in practice before doing so, and therefore may already be a partner, or close to it.
The problem has been exacerbated by the uptick in regulation globally. This has included Dodd-Frank and the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act out of the US, the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive in Europe, a greater focus on anti-money laundering, and tighter rules around product selling, among many other factors.