Asia continues to lag other regions for integrating ESG principles with investing; better data and stronger regulatory requirements will help institutional investors, market observers say.
Deutsche will incorporate his role into the current brief of Scott Jaffray, its CEO for the Middle East and North Africa, as of 2 April.
Ebrahim joined Deutsche at the end of June last year after three years with HSBC. He initially worked as CIO for HSBC Asset Management, before becoming CEO of newly created Halbis Partners, a $93 billion active-management and hedge-fund arm; the traditional and passive businesses continue in HSBC Investments. Prior to HSBC he spent 11 years at Credit Agricole Asset Management.
Chris Cheetham, global CEO at Halbis, took over EbrahimÆs role. But this was viewed as an interim measure, and the firmÆs attempts to find a permanent replacement didnÆt work out; instead it lured Ebrahim back.
ôI guess whatever he found at Deutsche didnÆt turn out as he had expected,ö says an executive at Halbis. An industry consultant adds Ebrahim was being pressured to move to Singapore, which he resisted.
The move also highlights some issues at HSBC, however, which has had to cope with the recent departure of Alain Dromer, former head of HSBC Group Investment Business. "Going back to Halbis is an interesting move and becoming CEO, not CIO again, seems contradictory to the reasons he had left there," says the consultant.
Deutsche would not comment on EbrahimÆs departure and Ebrahim could not be reached for comment, as he has already left the firm.
DeutscheÆs new CIO, Jaffray, is a sharia specialist, establishing the companyÆs DWS Noor Islamic fund range sold in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Singapore, and has a history of managing global and alternative assets.
Before joining Deutsche, Jaffray was a partner at London-based hedge fund PMA (Europe) LLP. He has also worked as head of global equities at Pictet Asset Management.
Halbis has regional offices in Hong Kong, where it runs Asia ex-Japan equities and Asian fixed income, and Singapore where it manages domestic and Indian equities. Teams in London and New York manage its portfolios in alternative asset classes.
It manages one of the worldÆs largest offshore Chinese funds, the $4.5 billion HSBC GIF China Equity product, and a $5.4 billion GIF Indian Equity portfolio. HSBC says its Bric and Global Emerging Market funds are also big sellers in Hong Kong.
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