Aviva Investors hires Temasek’s Chong for financial institutions
UK-based Aviva Investors appointed Patrick Chong from Temasek subsidiary Fullerton Fund Management as its new head of financial institutions business development for Asia-Pacific.
Based in Singapore, Chong takes over development of the firm’s financial institutions sales channel in the Lion city and more broadly across Asia. He reports to Aviva Investors' Asia-Pacific CEO, Erich Gerth, who relocated from London to Singapore just last month to drive business development following the resignation of former head Benjamin Lim.
Gerth has moved to redefine the business into three channels: servicing financial institutions, institutional development and parent company Aviva.
Chong has been brought in for the former, while this July the firm hired Lim Beng-Eu from Turner Investments in Singapore as Asia-Pacific head of institutional business development. Richard Herbeth looks after Aviva relations out of Singapore.
A spokesman for Aviva Investors says the firm has about 50 staff based in Singapore but is intent on expanding before the end of the year. He says it occupies half of the 32nd floor of Suntec Tower, and will have expanded into the whole floor before Christmas.
“We have substantially built out our presence in the region over the last 18 months, notably with the establishment of a regional headquarters in Singapore, and are now firmly focused on growing our regional distribution footprint,” says Gerth.
Chong was senior vice-president of business development at Fullerton until September 21. He led the firm’s North Asia team, targeting institutional, wholesale and private banking segments in China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Singapore.
Prior to Fullerton, Chong held fund management and investment consulting roles with Temasek Holdings and the Singapore Economic Development Board, respectively.
Fullerton FM is understood to be in the process of identifying a replacement for Chong. In the meantime, the North Asia business continues to be managed by Brenda Leow and Eric Lee, whom the firm said had already been covering these markets alongside Chong.
Julius Baer targets Greater China with key hire from Deutsche
Swiss private bank Julius Baer hired Victor Chao Tzu-Ping from Deutsche Bank as head of its Greater China team. Sources say Julius Baer is also seeking to hire a China market head, and is close to appointing a replacement for former North Asia head Andrea Benenati.
Julius Baer’s Greater China team (often a euphemism for Taiwan in banking circles) had been headed by Catherine Tseng. She has now been reassigned to build a key client team for Greater China, servicing clients with over $100 million in assets. She has to determine how many hires to make, although the team is not expected to be large.
Both Chao and Tseng are based in Hong Kong and report to Thomas Meier, who relocated from Singapore to become CEO of the firm’s recently anointed Hong Kong branch and its interim North Asia chief following Benenati’s departure.
“No one has signed yet to take over Benenati’s role, but there are some good candidates and an announcement will probably be made soon,” says a source.
Julius Baer also lost its China market head Pauline Chung (former China head for HSBC Private Bank) earlier this year, and sources indicate the Swiss bank is in the market for a replacement.
Chao has 25 years’ private banking experience. He joined from Deutsche Bank, where he was head of private wealth management for China, based in Shanghai, and before that onshore head of private wealth management for Taiwan, in Taipei. He had been with the bank for three years.
AsianInvestor understands that Deutsche Bank has replaced Chai internally with Huang Fan, who has been working as an investment strategist within its global investment solutions (GIS) business. He becomes head of private wealth management for China, effective late September, in addition to his GIS responsibilities.
Kennedy jumps from Citi to HSBC Securities Services
HSBC Securities Services has hired Glenn Kennedy as regional head of sales and relationship management for the alternatives sector for the Asia-Pacific client management group (CMG).
Based in Hong Kong, Kennedy started on October 3 to drive the development of client relationships with responsibilities for hedge funds and private equity clients.
He joins from Citi Fund Services, where he was a director for four years, and now reports to Dan Massey, head of the CMG for Asia Pacific for HSS. Citi could not provide details of whether Kennedy had been replaced by press time.
His appointment follows the departure of Colin Lunn to head UBS’s new fund-servicing unit for Asia, and the HSS team has since been restructured. Kennedy is not a direct replacement for Lunn, however.
The latter covered fund services with a focus on hedge funds, while Kennedy’s role is broader, covering PE firms and hedge funds across fund admin, custody and related services.
This sector focus is supported by the recent creation of a global CMG that will help the HSS business customise delivery based on the requirements of different client segments.
Del Rosario joins Blackpeak in Hong Kong
Asia-headquartered advisory business Blackpeak Group has hired Martin Del Rosario as a director in Hong Kong to strengthen its regional client coverage.
The firm says Del Rosario, who started this week after his notice period expired, comes with “an impressive client base” and experience in risk-related due diligence for clients looking to invest in companies in Asia.
Blackpeak, a risk consultancy and corporate finance advisory boutique that launched in Hong Kong and Singapore last month, now has a team of eight in Asia. This includes one person in Tokyo, while it also has a representative in London as well.
“We have three more hires in the pipeline, joining us over the next two months as notice periods/non-competes expire,” says one of the firm’s four founding partners, Nicholas Bryan-Brown. “We have had to staff up quite quickly at the beginning as established client relationships have allowed us to take quite a lot of work on at a very early stage.”
Previously Del Rosario led the private equity and M&A services practice for Greater China at Marsh Inc, where he worked as vice-president. He has also worked as a director in the business intelligence and investigations division of risk consultancy Kroll based in Singapore.
Blackpeak’s founding partners are Ian Roberts (formerly of Artradis), Jack Clode and Chris Leahy, both ex-Kroll, and Bryan-Brown.
Roberts and Bryan-Brown are based in Singapore, while Clode and Leahy are located in Hong Kong. Blackpeak also has an office in Tokyo and plans to open a further office in China.
Clariden Leu adds a handful of Southeast Asia executives
Swiss private bank Clariden Leu has announced it has hired five senior executives for the Southeast Asia region, all of whom it says joined last month in Singapore.
Veny Teng came in as a managing director to oversee a team of relationship managers for Southeast Asia. Desmond Loh and Cynthia Chin also joined as directors and senior relationship managers in newly created roles, reporting to Teng.
All three had been hired from Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management, continuing the hiring spree by Clariden Leu’s Asia head, Jimmy Lee, formerly of Deutsche.
A spokesman for Deutsche Bank PWM suggested, however, that some of these staff had left up to six months ago and were not in senior positions. “This is part of attrition,” he noted.
Further, Karen Tong has joined Clariden Leu as relationship manager, and Elaine Ngim as investment adviser. Tong has worked at banks such as ABN Amro, DBS, Hong Leong Bank and HSBC, while Ngim’s previous employers include BNP Paribas, Deutsche, Merrill Lynch, Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg, JP Morgan and Credit Suisse.
Teng and Tong both report to Yee Chin Lit, head of Southeast Asia, while Ngim reports to Lincoln Wong, head of investment advisory for Southeast Asia.
Clariden Leu has more than 160 staff based in Asia, 40 of whom are relationship managers. The firm saw its net revenues increase 16% and net profit 52% in the year to June 2011, while reducing its cost-income ratio by eight percentage points to 64%, according to group figures. Its global AUM dropped by SFr5 billion ($5.4 billion) to SFr94 billion over the period.
CDIB Capital appoints senior vice-president in Hong Kong
Investment firm CDIB Capital has hired Justin Busarakamwong as senior vice-president based in Hong Kong.
He has joined to build the group’s capabilities in credit investments across the Asia-Pacific region, ranging from senior debt to subordinated equity-linked instruments. The group says it intends to become a regional provider of leveraged and acquisition finance.
Just last month, CDIB announced that Victor Gao had joined in a newly created role as managing director to lead its private equity investments in mainland China.
Previously Busarakamwong was executive director at StormHarbour Securities in Hong Kong, where he focused on structuring, execution and distribution of private debt and structured lending transactions.
Before that he worked as an executive director in Morgan Stanley’s leveraged finance team in Hong Kong, and also led the bank’s local distribution effort for Asia.
Headquartered in Hong Kong, CDIB Capital was launched in 2006 as the overseas investing arm of Taiwan-listed merchant bank China Development Financial Holding, which has $12 billion in assets.
It manages $1 billion in proprietary capital through private equity and equity-linked investments, primarily in Asia and the US. Outside of Hong Kong, it has offices in Seoul and San Francisco.
Other moves reported by AsianInvestor this week: