Paris-based Axa Investment Managers is about to put its first fixed income trader in the region for closer proximity to clients and counterparties, and in response to the growth of its Asian asset base.

The trading and securities financing team will open a desk in Hong Kong in the fourth quarter to support the firm’s fund management expansion in the region, says Christophe Roupie, global head of trading at Axa IM. Until now, Asian fixed-income assets have been traded by fund managers in Singapore, alongside the Axa Rosenberg equity trading team headed by Edna Kong.

The desk is likely to expand in the coming months after Axa IM’s fundamental equity arm, Axa Framlington, also moved fund managers to Hong Kong this month, including Mark Tinker from London as Asia head of Framlington.

One important remit of the new desk will be to maintain closer contact with the firm’s network of 15 brokers that helps the firm execute across 10 markets in the region. Axa IM trades across Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

Listed and over-the-counter derivatives are traded out of each region where there is a trading desk. Securities lending and repurchase agreements will continue to be managed out of Paris and London.

Roupie leads a 31-strong team trading equities, fixed income, derivatives, currency, money market instruments for the investment arm of French insurer Axa. His staff are spread across London; Greenwich, Connecticut; and Paris.

The fund house is organised into several stand-alone boutiques – one fixed-income arm, two equity divisions (Framlington and Rosenberg) and four alternatives managers. Apart from the quantitative equity division, Rosenberg, they are all clients of Roupie’s team.

Out of Axa IM's $674 billion global AUM, $31 billion was sourced from Asia Pacific as of December 2012.

*A full interview with Roupie will appear in the upcoming (October) issue of AsianInvestor magazine.