Australia fund house AMP Capital announced big changes to its management team this week, with Anthony Fasso, director of Asia and global head of portfolio strategy, relocating and switching roles and global chief investment officer Mark Beardow leaving the firm.

Fasso is leaving Hong Kong after 23 years to return to Australia. He will retain his portfolio strategy responsibilities and take on an additional role to identify merger-and-acquisition opportunities for AMP Capital.

“Our business outside of Australia is particularly focused on real assets, infrastructure and real estate," he noted, "so we’ll be looking at other opportunities in the debt and equity space.”

A spokeswoman said: "While our focus is on building the business organically, we are considering opportunities where we can accelerate the strategy inorganically, but in a disciplined way," said a spokeswoman. "Opportunities that may be of particular interest are in the real asset space in North America."

Fasso told AsianInvestor the management changes did not signal any significant change in the firm's strategy. The announcement of changes to the investment team is a separate decision, he said, and unrelated to his move back to Australia for family reasons.

The firm also has a presence in the US and will be targeting opportunities there for clients in northeast Asia, he noted.

Craig Keary, director of Australia and New Zealand will take over Fasso’s Asia-Pacific responsibilities, overseeing the operations in Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo, in addition to his current role. He will work alongside Fasso for four months and subsequently move from Sydney to an as-yet-undecided location in Asia.

 

Investment team reshuffle

Separately, Mark Beardow Sydney-based chief investment officer of global equities and fixed income, is leaving AMP Capital.

His departure comes as Simon Warner, Sydney-based head of global fixed income, and David Allen, London-based global head of equities, are promoted to global CIOs for their respective asset classes.

Craig Keary

They will now report directly to CEO Adam Tindall. The changes reflect Tindall’s desire to be closer to the equity and fixed income businesses, said a spokeswoman.

The removal of a management layer may also suggest a desire to cut costs in what is an increasingly tough environment globally for asset managers.

Several of AMP Capital’s peers have made similar moves in recent months. Indeed, some have gone further and merged with other fund houses – consider the deals between Aberdeen and Standard Life and between Henderson and Janus Capital.

Fasso’s legacy

AMP Capital now has 200 clients outside Australia, the bulk of them in Asia, Fasso noted. He said the company’s ex-Australia AUM had grown from $5 billion to $20 billion globally in the last seven years, not including assets from the joint ventures.

Anthony Fasso

Fasso will remain on the AMP Capital leadership team, based in Melbourne. He was appointed in 2010 with a remit to internationalise the firm’s business.

He has helped build out the firm’s offices in Asia, Europe and the US and developed strategic relationships, notably with Mitsubishi in Japan and China Life through a joint venture.