Neuberger Berman adds distribution roles in HK, Singapore
Neuberger Berman Asia has hired two business development directors in newly created roles to focus on selling to financial intermediaries, one in Hong Kong and one in Singapore, AsianInvestor can reveal.

Mark Serocold started in Hong Kong this week, having spent the past six years at Schroder Investment Management in London and Hong Kong, latterly as business development manager for private bank distribution for Asia. He left Schroders a month ago.

Further, Neuberger Berman has hired Vincent Lim from UBS Global Asset Management in an equivalent role based in Singapore. He had spent five years with UBS, heading up Southeast Asia wholesale business covering both the retail and private bank segments.

AsianInvestor understands the duo will focus initially on private banks, with the potential to expand into the consumer banking arena at a later date.  

Both Serocold and Lim report to Nick Hoar, head of distribution for Asia Pacific (ex-Japan and ex-Korea). Hoar relocated from London to Hong Kong last September to focus on institutional and intermediary clients.

In an interview with AsianInvestor, Hoar revealed that he had a hiring mandate and was seeking distribution personnel.

Neuberger Berman is an employee-controlled money manager with $199 billion in AUM globally as at March 31 this year. Of this figure, $4 billion is sourced from Asia-Pacific, according to AsianInvestor numbers.

The firm manages equity, fixed income and balanced separate accounts. It runs open and closed-end mutual funds and alternative investments, including hedge funds and private equity vehicles.

AllianzGI hires fixed income head in Singapore from Axa IM
Allianz Global Investors announced it had hired David Tan from Axa Investment Management as head of investments for AllianzGI Singapore and CIO for pan-regional Asian bond mandates.

Tan started in Singapore on May 2, having worked at Axa IM for over a decade. In what is a new position at the firm he will be responsible for building the team and enlarging the product range.

He joins a fixed income team of five based in the Lion City, with a spokesperson for the company confirming it is looking to hire one more to bring it to six.

Overall, AllianzGI has 20 fixed income professionals in Asia-Pacific based in Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong, as well as Singapore.

“One of our strategic priorities is to build upon our existing fixed income capabilities,” says Douglas Eu, chief executive of AllianzGI Asia Pacific. “We see the potential of regional Asian bonds as a key asset class with strong growing interest from investors, not just in Asia but also globally.”

High-level fixed income specialists are in great demand in Asia, and the segment has seen plenty of hiring activity over the past year.

Prior to joining AllianzGI, Tan was executive director of fixed income for Asia Pacific and the Middle East for Axa IM based in London, a product specialist role (non money-managing) he held briefly before leaving last month.

From 2008 to 2011 Tan had worked as CIO for Kyobo AXA IM in Korea, and from 2001 to 2008 he was head of fixed income for Asia at Axa IM in Singapore.

Axa IM is expected to seek a replacement for Tan. The firm has a four-strong fixed income team based in Singapore led by regional head Philip Chow.

At AllianzGI Tan reports to Eugen Löffler, Asia-Pacific fixed income CIO based in Korea. The firm’s Asia-Pacific CIO is Raymond Chan, who is based in Hong Kong and largely covers equity research.

AllianzGI is a subsidiary of Allianz SE with €270 billion ($355 billion) in assets under management as at December 2011.

Mercer transfers Reekie to be Hong Kong office leader
Consultancy Mercer announced it had transferred Sue Reekie from Scotland to become managing director and leader of its Hong Kong office.

She started in her new role on March 1, although the announcement was made this week. She will be working closely with Jonathan Gove, Mercer’s market leader for Greater China and her predecessor in the role.

Gove has been Hong Kong market leader until he was handed his Greater China role in April last year, since when Mercer has been seeking a replacement in Hong Kong.

Mercer has seven lines of business, which other than investments includes talent, rewards and communications, retirement, health care and M&A. It is understood Reekie will be working closely with Gove with a primary focus on the firm’s largest multinational client relationships.

In Hong Kong Mercer has 170 staff. Previously Reekie was part of Mercer UK’s client management team working with a portfolio of global clients. She joined the firm in 2002 to lead business development in Scotland and Northern Ireland across all service offerings.

Citic Capital hires team in real estate
Alternative investment management firm Citic Capital Holding has hired Robert Lie as managing director of its real estate group in Hong Kong, along with three of his colleagues.

Lie had been managing director of Redevco Asia since 2008 and before that he was Asia chief executive officer at ING Real Estate.

Joining him at Citic Capital are Jan Willem as concept architect, Dennis Fung as investment specialist and Chanxia Yu on the asset management side. The firm’s head of real estate is senior managing director Stanley Ching.

“Strong growth in consumer spending and the rapid urbanisation in China provide many opportunities for retail investment,” says Lie. “We believe that Citic Capital is the right platform for us to continue our work.”

Citic Capital is owned by sovereign wealth fund CIC and conglomerate Citic Group. Its property arm manages over $4.6 billion for institutional investors seeking access to China real estate.

It employs over 200 staff throughout its offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo and New York. Its core businesses include private equity, real estate, structured investment and finance, asset management and venture capital.

Since 2005 the group has raised four China-focused funds investing in 19 projects spanning China. To date 12 projects have been successfully exited.

Other moves reported by AsianInvestor in the past week:

ING IM may seek new head of Asian debt after Chia exit

Konyn sets out Asia expansion plan for CCAM start-up

Fund manager Wang Yawei quits China AMC