QIC poaches BlackRock’s Australia head as new CEO
Brisbane-based asset manager QIC has appointed Damien Frawley as CEO, with effect from July this year. He will succeed Doug McTaggart, who announced his intention to retire in mid-2012.

Frawley, who will work with McTaggart to ensure a smooth transition, joins from BlackRock Australia, where he will remain country head until the end of June. BlackRock, whose Australia business has $45 billion in AUM, has started to look for a replacement.

By June this year, McTaggart will have spent almost 14 years at government-owned QIC. He joined in August 1998 when the fund managed less than $20 billion.

Before joining BlackRock in 2005, Frawley was Australia head of retail sales at Merrill Lynch Investment Management from 2002-2005.

QIC provides investment solutions to superannuation funds and other institutional investors. It has 88 clients and $60.6 billion in funds under management. It is estimated it manages around A$500 million in listed and unlisted asset classes for Asian clients.

QIC has acquired 12 of Australia’s largest superannuation funds as clients in the past 20 years, and more recently it has prioritised expansion into the UK, European and US investments.

In September last year QIC announced it had signed the former Australian ambassador to China, Geoff Raby, on a consultancy basis. He was hired to conduct relationship-building activities from Beijing.

State Street adds Asia sales head to drive alternative fund servicing
State Street Corporation announced that Dan McNicholas from Bank of America-Merrill Lynch had been appointed head of sales for its alternative investment solutions (AIS) division.

Based in Hong Kong, he was hired to expand the firm’s regional footprint in hedge fund servicing, real estate and private equity operations and will work with client-facing teams to develop strategies for its alternative investment capabilities.

State Street established a presence in Asia-Pacific as an alternative fund services provider when it acquired Mourant International Finance Administration in 2010, with locations in Hong Kong and Singapore.

It launched hedge fund services in Asia-Pacific mid-last year, and unveiled expansion plans for existing real estate and private equity servicing operations in mainland China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Asia represents a small proportion of the firm’s AIS business globally, but as Bhagesh Malde, senior MD of AIS in Boston, told AsianInvestor at the time: “It’s probably going to be the fastest growing [region].”

Malde pointed to a string of hedge fund launches in Asia, adding that an increase of investor allocations to the region was increasing demand for outsourced services. Another factor behind State Street’s move, he said, was the greater variety of hedge funds today other than long/short equity.

However, research from Chicago-based consultancy HFR notes that among Asia-focused hedge funds, 76% are equity hedge strategies, compared with 46% for the global industry. And it notes how the supposedly smart money in Asia largely failed last year.

Meanwhile data provider Eurekahedge forecasts that the number of hedge fund launches in 2012 will be similar to the 130 launched last year, and down from the 183 new funds in 2010.

Net inflows are expected to reach $5 billion in 2012, bringing industry assets to more than $140 billion by year-end – up from $125 billion at the start of this year but short of the 2007 high of $176 billion.

State Street offers middle and back-office outsourcing services and front-office tools for functions including risk analytics and real-time profit and loss calculation.

As part of its build-out in this area, last year it appointed former Walkers executive Carol Hall as head of alternative services in Asia-Pacific. And in a statement to announce McNicholas’ hire, she describes the AIS market as “crucial to our long-term growth in Asia-Pacific”.

McNicholas reports to Maria Cantillon, global head of AIS sales. Previously he worked as director and Asia-Pacific head of financing sales and global markets, financing and futures at BoA-Merrill. He has also performed roles at Lehman Brothers and Deutsche Bank.

Vistra to provide fund admin out of Hong Kong, assembles team
Fund administration firm Vistra Fund Services announced its entry into Asia to add to its existing operations in Jersey and Luxembourg. The business will be based in Hong Kong and will provide fund administration and associated services to fund managers throughout Asia.

Its newly assembled team will be headed by Charles Kwun, who was previously regional managing director of Orangefield Trust and, prior to that, director and CEO of Bank of East Asia (Trustees), heading up MPF business and mutual fund admin services.

His team includes executive director Andrew Mascall-Robson, who had worked with JP Morgan in Asia hedge fund services; executive director Shirley Yuen, previously head of relationship management in the alternative fund services unit at BNY Mellon; and director Fang Ling Khor, most recently a director at Standard Chartered Bank.

Vistra offers a range of fund admin services with a focus on the alternatives industry.

Hyperion creates role as head of Australian equities
Australian fund manager Hyperion Asset Management has promoted Joel Gray to a newly created role as head of Australian equities. Effective immediately, he is based in Brisbane and reports to CEO and managing director Manny Pohl.

Hyperion is a high-conviction growth style fund manager that specialises in Australian equities, serving institutions and high-net-worth investors. It says it has a relatively concentrated portfolio of companies with predictable earnings and high growth potential.

The firm’s chief investment officer is Mark Arnold, while Emmanuel Clive Pohl is managing director and chairman of the investment committee.

Gray has been a senior portfolio manager at Hyperion since 2001. Prior to that he worked as an industrial research analyst for Wilson HTM.

Citi Private Bank adds to North American Asian Clients Group
Citi Private Bank announced that Jane Bachmann had joined its North American Asian Clients Group as a director and ultra-high-net-worth private banker.

She will be based in San Francisco and report to Ida Liu, who heads the client group. Previously Bachmann had worked at The Presidio Group in San Francisco as managing director and partner, providing wealth management strategies to US and Asian HNWIs and family offices.

Before that she had spent 17 years at Fidelity Investments in Dallas and San Francisco, latterly as vice-president in its private client group.

Other moves reported by AsianInvestor in the past week:

Schroders picks up senior PM from Western Asset

ING IM names new head of Asian fixed income

Bank of Korea extends search for global bond head

Manulife AM Indonesia caps AUM rise with CIO hire

I'm open to job offers in Asia, says Deborah Fuhr