Threadneedle names first Asia-based fund manager
UK-based Threadneedle Investments has relocated Gigi Chan, Asia-Pacific equities fund manager, to Singapore from London. She is the first member of the investment team to be based in Asia and more are likely to follow.

Having joined Threadneedle in 2000, Chan will manage more than $500 million from Singapore across a range of funds and segregated mandates. She is also a member of Threadneedle’s oil and gas and consumer products global sector research teams and has country research responsibilities for China and Hong Kong.

Threadneedle established a presence in Asia in 2008 and has offices in Singapore and Hong Kong. Following the arrival of Raymundo Yu as Asia-Pacific chairman last year, the firm embarked on a major hiring drive.

BNP Paribas Wealth Management appoints senior execs
BNP Paribas Wealth Management has made a number of senior appointments in Asia.

Andy Chai has joined as Hong Kong head, having previously worked for various financial institutions including HSBC, China International Capital Corporation, Credit Suisse and Merrill Lynch.   

Marie-Christine Cormier has been named Asia-Pacific head of credit based in Hong Kong, effective 1 January. Having spent 30 years with BNP Paribas, she will now be in charge of credit and risk management for the wealth business. She was most recently head of credit management for Southeast Asia.

Gerry Xie joined BNP Paribas Wealth Management on 30 November as Shanghai-based head of wealth management for the China onshore market. Before joining BNP Paribas, he was head of China onshore private banking at Credit Suisse. Before that, he was deputy branch manager of HSBC’s Shanghai branch.

ABN Amro targets private banking growth in Asia
ABN Amro says it is committed to boosting its private banking division in Asia to match that in the eurozone, where it is the third largest private bank by assets. It is building out its client service teams with the recruitment of more private bankers, investment counsellors and other key specialists.

Following the appointment in October of Hugues Delcourt as chief executive of ABN Amro Private Banking Asia and country executive in Singapore, the private bank has made further senior hires.

The previous incumbent, Hans Diederen, joined Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in July as head of Southeast Asia advisory.

They include Roland Muller as head of human resources for Singapore and Private Banking Asia and Stephen Evans as head of investment counselling based in Singapore. Jimmy Goh and Chin Ching Yap have joined in new market manager roles in Singapore and Hong Kong, respectively.

In addition, ABN Amro has just received final approval from the China Banking Regulatory Commission to open a representative office in Shanghai, which it hopes will be operational within the first quarter of 2012.

Perpetual names new equities head and deputy head
Following the departure of John Sevior, Australian investment group Perpetual has named Matt Williams and Charlie Lanchester as head of equities and deputy head of equities, respectively. Williams has been filling in for Sevior since he took leave in July this year.

After 17 years with the firm, most recently as head of equities, Sevior will explore a new venture for 2012, says Perpetual.

Williams has been with the firm for 18 years and is portfolio manager of the Australian Share Fund and the Pure Value Share Fund, and for 50% of the Industrial Share Fund.

Lanchester has been with Perpetual for 12 years and is lead portfolio manager of the Sustainability Fund. He also manages 50% of the Industrial Share Fund.

Sevior’s absence had sparked off over six months’ of speculation over whether he would return from extended leave. The market talk now is that he will be starting his own fund next year.

This week Perpetual also announced a restructuring of its sales arm by creating a specialist team to handle its biggest customers, the large financial planning groups that recommend its products to investors.

Franklin Templeton expands Australia team
Franklin Templeton Investments has made a number of additions and replacements in its teams in Melbourne and Sydney.

Jim McKay joined Franklin Templeton Investments in Australia in a newly created post of director of advisory services in Melbourne, to further develop the retail business strategy. Having arrived earlier this month, he is focused on positioning products and building out a dedicated retail team to drive sales.

McKay was most recently head of distribution at ING Investment Management. He has also worked as a managing director at financial services group Challenger and as head of retail business and group product management at Goldman Sachs JB Were. 

Juliana Howard in November joined Franklin Templeton in a newly created role as client services manager in Sydney, responsible for institutional clients across all asset classes. Most recently, she with AMP Capital as a fixed interest investment specialist. She has also been responsible for institutional client services and consultant relations at Invesco Asset Management.

Howard began her career as a fixed income portfolio manager at UBS Asset Management before moving to Russell Investments, where she conducted fixed income and alternative investment manager research.

Mathew Sund has joined Franklin Templeton as a director of fund administration in Melbourne, focusing on product accounting and unit pricing. He replaces Julie Wrigley, who has moved to the Singapore office.

Sund has over 15 years’ industry experience and spent the past eight years at Vanguard Investments Australia, where he managed the fund accounting and unit pricing teams. 

Meanwhile, Balanced Equity Management – acquired by Franklin Templeton in July – recently added two new analysts to its investment team in Melbourne to replace one who had left. Franklin Templeton declined to provide the name of the departee.

Justin Levi joined the firm as an equities analyst covering media, gaming and healthcare. He was previously an investment analyst at investment and advisory firm Wingate Group in Melbourne and before that worked in the principal investment group of Babcock and Brown.

Gareth D’Cunha has joined as an equities analyst covering smaller financial stocks. Previously he was an investment banking analyst at Credit Suisse.

JP Morgan names securities services head for Australia
JP Morgan has appointed Mark Kelley as chief executive of the Australia and New Zealand of Worldwide Securities Services and country lead for Treasury & Securities Services for Australasia.

He replaces Jane Perry, who was named CEO of Qantas Superannuation earlier this month.

In his new role, Kelley is responsible for all aspects of the WSS business including sales, operations, technology, product, client service and the organisation’s strategic agenda.

He joined JP Morgan in 2006 and was most recently head of America’s market management for WSS based in New York. In that role he was responsible for setting strategy, driving sales and relationship management and managing profitability for all clients in the western hemisphere.

Before joining JP Morgan, Kelley served as London-based head of the Europe, the Middle East and Africa division of Citi’s Securities and Fund Services.

JP Morgan’s WSS business focuses on custody and administration services by helping clients – institutional investors, alternative asset managers, broker dealers and equity issuers – optimise efficiency, mitigate risk and enhance revenue.