McKay takes global role in restructure of Allianz Global Investors
Allianz Global Investors (AGI) announced that its Asia-Pacific chief operating officer, George McKay, would assume global responsibilities from January 1 next year. He succeeds US-based Marna Whittington, who retires.

The new role comes as the firm, formed 12 years ago as a collection of boutiques, moves to simplify its global structure. From January 1 it will become an integrated investment manager operating across 19 markets with 700 investment professionals worldwide covering equities, fixed income and multi-asset.

It has created a low-profile holding company, Allianz Asset Management, and unveiled a new corporate structure to define more clearly its two investment management businesses, Pimco and Allianz Global Investors.

Historically the AGI brand has been most associated with distribution, although in Asia-Pacific has included 70 to 80 fund managers in entities in Korea, Taiwan and its China joint-venture with Guotai Junan Securities. It housed investment management businesses RCM (equities) and Pimco (bonds), as well as US investment subsidiary AGI Capital.

But from next year Pimco becomes more independent, taking over sole responsibility for distribution of its products and funds globally (in a move many in the industry consider as preparation for a spin-off in the US or even potential sale, although Allianz has denied this).

Effectively it means that AGI will encompass everything that isn’t Pimco from next year.

“The global model is a reflection of a reality that is already present in two out of our three regions [US and Asia-Pacific],” explains Douglas Eu, who becomes Asia-Pacific head of AGI on the global executive committee. “The only place where it's not is Europe and that's where the bigger changes are on the distribution side.

“Where we had Pimco growing large relative to the size it was when AGI purchased it, and with the other companies beginning to work more together, we came to the conclusion we needed to evolve the global structure to reflect the reality on the ground and also to position ourselves for opportunities that we see in the coming 10 to 20 years.”

Instead of having an executive management committee representative of each operating entity, from January its executive committee will operate on a regional management structure.

It will have one global CEO in the shape of Elizabeth Corley, one global CIO Andreas Utermann, three regional management heads – James Dilworth for Europe, Brian Gafney for the US and Eu for Asia – as well as Thomas Wiesemann, head of global solutions.

AsianInvestor understands that Mark Konyn, who announced in September he would depart as Asia-Pacific CEO of RCM after 14 years, will be on gardening leave from the start of January.

Former Singapore government minister and Temasek director to advise APS
APS Asset Management appointed former Singapore government minister and Temasek managing director Raymond Lim as senior adviser and independent director, subject to regulatory approval.

The 52-year-old has held various ministerial positions in the government since 2001, most recently as transport minister and second minister of foreign affairs.

Wong Kok Hoi, APS’ chairman and CIO, noted in a statement that Lim’s appointment forms part of company plans to build a high-quality institutional business.

Lim was quoted as saying: “Fund management is a growth industry in Asia powered by rising wealth in the region. But it is also a very competitive industry. Few local fund outfits survive, much less prosper. I am happy to help APS as it seeks to realise its ambition of being a leading Asian portfolio specialist.”

Lim entered politics in 2001, having previously held senior positions in the finance industry including managing director of Temasek Holdings and Group CEO of DBS Vickers Securities. He is a director of the Government Investment Corporation of Singapore and senior adviser to the Swire Group.

Founded in 1995, APS manages $2.3 billion in assets and has offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Tokyo and New York. It recently signed a strategic alliance with Scottish fund management firm Martin Currie, with the aim of building a leading China fund management business.

Johnson joins JP Morgan AM, sees China real estate opportunities
JP Morgan Asset Management – Global Real Assets has hired Rob Johnson as head of global business development for its China real estate activities.

In this newly-created role based in Hong Kong, Johnson reports to Michael O’Brien, global head of real assets client relations and strategy. Heading global real assets in Asia is David Chen, who oversees the group’s real estate business regionally.

Johnson joins from the Hong Kong office of Blackstone Group, where he was a managing director focused on business development in Asia. Before then he handled investor relations at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch’s global real estate principal investments and private equity funds groups.

JP Morgan Asset Management – Global Real Assets invests in private equity real estate and infrastructure assets in China on behalf of US, European, Middle Eastern and Asian institutional and high-net-worth investors.

“The impact of domestic credit tightening and other policy measures throughout the course of the year are finally affecting property volumes and prices,” says Johnson. “Given our view of the longer term, attractive fundamentals of the China property market, the current market correction should offer attractive entry points for new investment.”

Credit Suisse hires private banking leadership for the Philippines from UBS
Credit Suisse’s private banking division announced it had hired Angela Bow and Albert Ma from Swiss rival UBS to lead its Philippines coverage out of Hong Kong.

Effective from December 6, Bow joined as managing director and Philippines head reporting to Martin Kuenzler, its market area head for emerging Asia. Ma was also brought in as a managing director and a team leader, reporting to Bow.

Kuenzler was previously covering the Philippines as market leader. It comes after Ray Chan, who had been investment partner for the Philippines at Credit Suisse focused on the UHNW segment, departed to Morgan Stanley earlier this year, AsianInvestor understands.

Bow has covered the Philippines market for 10 years, working in collaboration with the investment bank at UBS, where she was country team head for the Philippines. She has also worked for Citibank.

Ma has spent the past decade at UBS, where most recently he was desk head of the high-net-worth segment for the Philippines market. He has also worked in treasury and foreign exchange, including at HSBC.

Partners Group seeks to increase Asia-Pacific direct investment
Private markets investment manager Partners Group hired Kelvin Yu from Sequoia Capital China as managing director in its Singapore office. He will focus on growing the firm’s direct investment activities in Asia-Pacific.

Partners Group says it has invested close to $4 billion in the region since 1999 via 19 direct investments (including Nord Anglia Education and Brilliant Circle Holdings) and $1 billion in secondary transactions.

Managing director and co-head for Singapore is Andreas Baumann. The firm is headquartered in Switzerland with offices around the world. It employs over 500 people and is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange, with a market cap of over SFr4.5 billion ($4.9 billion).

Senior traders join BTIG in Sydney amid build-out
BTIG Australia announced it had hired two senior traders for its Sydney-based team as it strives to build out its worldwide trading and sales platform.

Leo Borovilas and Andrew Best join the brokerage and fund services firm’s institutional sales desk. Borovilas has worked for Austock Securities, Bell Potter and JP Morgan, while Best was formerly with JP Morgan Securities, Citigroup Global Markets and Macquarie Equities.

In a statement, BTIG’s CEO for Asia-Pacific says the two new hires form part of its expansion efforts across the Asia-Pacific region. The firm is also pushing into Latin America and Canada.

Other moves reported by AsianInvestor this week:

Towers Watson taps Howell to head wealth management

Who tops AsianInvestor's list of people moves for 2011?

UBS names new head of client coverage for family office unit