AsianInvestor’s weekly roundup of job-hoppers, May 11

HSBC names Asia head of prime services, BoA-Merrill loses Asia cap-intro head, Lothian departs BEA Union, China AMC sees GM step down and Eastspring installs Indonesia team.
AsianInvestor’s weekly roundup of job-hoppers, May 11

Ford takes role as HSBC's Asia prime services head
HSBC has named Melvyn Ford as head of prime services for Asia, taking on a newly-created role for the bank's fledgling prime brokerage operations in the region.

Based in Hong Kong, Ford has been with HSBC since 2010, where he led the global relationship management function for hedge funds in Asia. He previously worked in the prime services units at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank in the region.

Ford will oversee a team of about 30 in the region, reporting to London-based Paul Hamill, HSBC global head of prime services.

HSBC launched its prime services offering in Asia last year, using a hybrid model in which it offers both prime brokerage and custodian services to hedge funds.

It is aimed at leveraging HSBC’s sub-custodian network in Asia and its position in the region’s hedge fund administration sector, with a 20% share of the market as of December last year, according to data provide Eurekahedge.

Asia cap-intro head Sam Tabar quits BoA-Merrill
Sam Tabar quit Bank of America-Merrill Lynch as head of capital introductions for Asia-Pacific this week. It is understood he intends to pursue other opportunities.

It comes just a year after Tabar joined the bank’s prime brokerage in March 2011 from PMA Investment Advisors in Hong Kong, since renamed as Sparx Asia, where he co-headed the hedge fund’s capital-raising team.

BoA-Merrill has hired Matthew Dallimore from Sidley Austin in Hong Kong as director on the Asia Pacific prime brokerage consulting team, according to an internal memo seen by AsianInvestor. He reports to Jamie Gleeson, the bank's head of Asia Pacific prime brokerage consulting.

At Sidley Austin Dallimore was counsel and a member of the investment funds practice group. He covered hedge funds, private equity, real estate funds, investment companies and asset management advisory work.

He has experience advising on fund formation, structuring of fund platforms and investor due diligence, among other things, the memo states. He has worked in London, the Cayman Islands and Dubai.

Scott Lothian leaves BEA Union to return to Europe
Scott Lothian has left his post as head of fund of funds and multi-asset at BEA Union Investments and is to leave Hong Kong after more than a decade in the territory. 

He is understood to be returning to Europe. His responsibilities will be assumed by CIO Elke Schoeppl-Jost, who is still on maternity leave but due to return this month.

“It’s business as usual for the multi-funds and multi-asset business, but with a change of personnel,” Eleanor Wan, CEO of BEA Union, tells AsianInvestor.

Lothian joined BEA Union in February 2008 and had managed a team of four that largely looked after global multi-asset portfolios for local Hong Kong retirement savings clients. He had reported directly to the CIO.

Before that he was Asia head of manager research at Watson Wyatt (now Towers Watson), where he had worked for more than seven years.

BEA Union is a joint venture between Bank of East Asia and Germany’s Union Investments.

Veteran general manager Fan steps down at China AMC
China Asset Management Company announced that Fan Yonghong had stepped down from the post of general manager, although he remains vice-chairman of its board of directors.

Teng Tianming, vice-general manager, has been named acting general manager, effective from May 9. AsianInvestor has learned that Teng will become general manager when he obtains a senior qualification from the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

Fan was the longest serving general manager in the history of China's fund management industry, having worked in the position since China AMC was founded in 1998.

The move comes less than a fortnight after AsianInvestor reported that China’s most famous fund manager, Wang Yawei, had quit China AMC last month. It was Fan who had confirmed Wang's exit by sending a text to the media.

Chinese media had been speculating that both Wang and Fan could seek to ply their trade overseas, with both veterans of the firm.

Teng is also a long-serving member of staff, having joined China AMC in November 1998. He has served in various positions including assistant to the general manager, general manager of institutional wealth management and, most recently, vice-general manager.

Separately, the company has re-elected Wang Dongming as chairman of its board of directors. He is the chairman of Citic Securities, the largest shareholder (49%) of China AMC.

Four new board directors were also unveiled: Hua Weirong, vice-president of Wuxi Guolian Development Group; Fred Hu, chairman of Primavera Capital; and Xu Gang and Ge Xiaobo, two managing directors at Citic Securities.

Wuxi Guolian is a minority shareholder (10%) of China AMC, while Fred Hu was formerly chairman of Greater China at Goldman Sachs.

Eastspring sets up in Indonesia, puts team in place
Having been granted an asset management licence in Indonesia recently, Eastspring Investments has put a 20-strong team on the ground, headed by Riki Frindos.

He has been managing Indonesian investments for Prudential (now Eastspring Investments) for more than 10 years from its regional hub in Singapore, and has now been appointed chief executive of Eastspring Investments Indonesia.

Frindos has 15 years’ experience in financial services and heads a team of investment professionals led by chief investment officer Ari Pitoyo.

A spokeswoman for the firm says: “The focus [in Indonesia] will be on establishing relationships with key distribution partners such as banks.”

Prudential manages about $5 billion in assets in Indonesia for both domestic and foreign investors, currently out of Singapore.

“Indonesia has shown impressive economic growth and stability during the past several years and we believe now is the right time for us to establish asset management operations in this fast-growing market,” said Barry Stowe, CEO of Prudential Corporation Asia, part of Prudential plc.

AsianInvestor initially broke the story that Prudential Asset Management was seeking a licence after Indonesia's capital markets regulator, Bapepam, revealed it was ready to hand out licences again after a two-year hiatus on the back of the global financial crisis.

Previously Frindos was investment director at Prudential Asset Management Singapore from 2005 to 2011, and prior to that he was head of the investment department at Prudential Life Assurance from 2002 to 2005.

Before joining Prudential, he worked at ING Investment Management Indonesia, Ficor Sekuritas, Rifan Sekuritas and Bank Niaga Indonesia (now Bank CIMB Niaga).

Prudential is one of the region’s largest insurers and operates Prudential Life Assurance in Indonesia. Eastspring Investments has total funds under management in excess of $80 billion.

Leopard Capital hires senior RM to assemble marketing team
Frontier money manager Leopard Capital announced it had hired Peter de Vries from Upbest Financial Services as executive director and senior relationship manager.

De Vries actually joined last December, but only took up his position in Hong Kong last month after receiving a licence from the Securities and Futures Commission as a responsible officer.

Leopard has type 4 and type 9 licences to advise on securities and carry out asset management in Hong Kong. At present it has around $35 million in AUM.

De Vries has a remit to assemble a marketing team, with the firm preparing to launch several new funds this year. A spokesman says it may hire up to three more staff.

In Hong Kong now it has a staff of three, with De Vries, managing partner and fund manager Thomas Hugger and an assistant. Mohammed Ahamed runs marketing for the firm from London.

“[De Vries] will play an integral role for Leopard as we expand our global operations, product range and AUM,” says Douglas Clayton, company founder and CEO.

Leopard Capital manages private equity and public equity investment funds and was formed in 2007 as a partnership of professionals with experience in frontier and emerging markets.

It is domiciled in the Cayman Islands and has offices in Hong Kong, Cambodia, Laos and Bangladesh. The firm launched the first private equity fund in Cambodia in 2008, and has since made 12 investments in sectors including banking, microfinance, hydropower and telecoms.

Leopard also manages a public equities fund that invests in Asian frontier markets including Myanmar, Mongolia, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea and Vietnam. It recently signed a $10 million agreement with the International Finance Corporation for it to become a seed investor in Leopard’s Haiti private equity fund to help rebuild the country following the 2010 earthquake.

Previously De Vries had worked to raise funds for joint-venture real estate projects at Upbest Financial Services, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Upbest Group. Prior to that he worked in the finance group at Merrill Lynch, where he reported to the CFO.

Real estate strategy and research hire for Aviva Investors
Aviva Investors announced the appointment of Elysia Tse from BlackRock as senior vice-president of strategy and research at its Asia-Pacific real estate business.

Based in Singapore, she will be responsible for the formulation of fund-level strategy and asset allocation for mandates managed within its regional real estate business. She reports to Ian Hally, CEO of Asia-Pacific real estate, and David Skinner, its real estate CIO.

In a statement, Hally notes that real estate is one of the three key focus areas for Aviva Investors, alongside fixed income and multi-asset investing.

“The Asia-Pacific region has become increasingly important to the global real estate asset management market based on client demand for exposure to Asian markets,” he said, adding that the firm was looking to deepen its footprint in the Asia-Pacific real estate market.

Previously Tse was director of research and strategy within its real estate equity team. Prior to that she worked for Citigroup Property Investors and LaSalle Investment Management in the US.

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