Skandia hires marketing head in drive to double Asia AUM
Skandia Investment Group (SIG) has appointed Paco Lee as its marketing head for Asia as part of its plan to double assets under management in the region.

Based in Hong Kong, Lee will coordinate with colleagues in London at SIG, the wholly owned multi-manager business in the long-term savings (LTS) division of Old Mutual Group.

Rob Williams, the firm’s head of sales and marketing, says Lee will be instrumental in helping to expand its multi-manager range of funds in Asia, including its core market of Taiwan and the expanding markets of Hong Kong and Singapore.

Globally SIG manages around $23 billion, including less than $1 billion in Asia-based assets. It boasts around 45 investment professionals out of a global staff of 120.

SIG is the sister company of insurance business Skandia International (which is also one of its clients). It effectively acts as gatekeeper of the funds platform. It has 23 externally managed sub-funds under three ranges: Skandia Global, which is the range distributed in Asia; Skandia Fonder (Sweden); and Skandia Investment Management (UK).

In terms of products, SIG has two Asian equity funds, two emerging market debt products and an emerging market equity fund.

Its manager research team is based in London and parts of Europe. In Asia it has six sales and marketing staff in Hong Kong, where it has a type 1 and a type 4 licence. They also fly to Singapore and mainland China.

Asia expansion is understood to be on the agenda. Only recently Skandia announced the appointment of its fourth global CEO in the past two years in the shape of Paul Feeney, as reported by AsianInvestor.

He takes over the CEO role initially handed to Phil Wagstaff, who after just a few weeks in the role switched to Henderson Global Investors as global head of distribution.

Barclays Wealth updates Wiranto’s job title to Asia investment strategist
Barclays Wealth, the global wealth management division of the UK’s Barclays Bank, has appointed Wellian Wiranto from HSBC in Singapore.

Initially brought in last month as Asia economist, Wiranto has since been named Asia investment strategist, AsianInvestor has learned. Based in the city-state, Wiranto reports to Benjamin Yeo, head of research, economics and strategy for the region.

This comes after Asia strategist Manpreet Gill quit Barclays Wealth to join Standard Chartered in November as senior investment strategist for Asia, based in Singapore. He reports to Steve Brice, global chief investment strategist for consumer banking, also based in the city-state.

Aside from driving research and economic analysis of regional markets, Wiranto will focus on interpreting market economics for private banking clients as a member of the global investment strategy group.

Previously he held the post of Asian economist of global research at HSBC in Singapore, before which he was a senior economist at the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Bank of Singapore boosts Greater China team with senior hires
Bank of Singapore announced two senior additions to its Greater China team: Pauline Chung from Julius Baer, as already reported by AsianInvestor, and Arthur Fong from Credit Suisse.

Chung is based in Hong Kong, having previously been managing director and market head for China at Julius Baer. Fong is working out of Singapore, having been deputy market leader cum team leader in the city-state for Credit Suisse.

Both new arrivals will report to Sermon Kwan, head of Greater China and chief executive of Bank of Singapore’s Hong Kong branch.

In a statement, Kwan suggested the pair would further entrench the firm’s business in Greater China “especially as we prepare to set up our private banking operations in China via OCBC, subject to regulatory approval”.

Bank of Singapore, a wholly owned subsidiary of OCBC, is in the process of applying for regulatory approval to set up a wealth management department within OCBC in Shanghai. OCBC has 14 branches in eight Chinese provinces.

Kwan is hopeful the venture will be up and running this year and says the firm has already earmarked a leader for it, but declines to name who.

AsianInvestor has reported that Bank of Singapore has around 60 bankers covering Greater China, based out of Singapore and Hong Kong. Its approach does not recognise boundaries between Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China, but treats the whole as an integrated region.

MAS reappoints trio to board of directors
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has announced that three members of its board of directors have been reappointed for a further two-year period, effective from January 1.

They are Lim Chee Onn, senior international adviser to Singbridge Private; Peter Ong, permanent secretary of the finance ministry; and Lucien Wong Yuen Kuai, managing partner of law firm Allen & Gledhill.

The board is chaired by deputy prime minister and finance minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, with trade and industry minister Lim Hng Kiang as his deputy.