UK-based Baring Asset Management has hired Marco Tang from JP Morgan Asset Management in a new role to run its distribution business in the region.

Tang started at the firm in Hong Kong today as head of sales, client service and business development for mutual fund distribution across Hong Kong, China and Singapore.

This is a senior management role focused on developing Barings’ retail business through third-party distributors. Eric Poon has been regional head of institutional business since May last year, based in Hong Kong.

Tang's appointment follows the completion of the firm’s acquisition of SEI Asset Korea earlier this year, as reported.

He will lead the distribution team, reporting directly to Gerry Ng, Barings’ chief executive for Asia ex-Japan. Tang comes in above Self Li, head of mutual fund sales, and Patrick Tam, senior sales manager for third-party distribution.

Asked if Tang’s hire indicated that Barings would seek to ramp up its retail sales business in Asia, a spokeswoman for the firm confirms only it is looking to grow the business across Hong Kong, China and Singapore.

Previously Tang was executive director and head of intermediary business for Hong Kong at JP Morgan AM, according to Barings. Prior to that he held various roles at Allianz Global Investors, HSBC Asset Management and Jardine Fleming Unit Trusts.

A spokesman at JP Morgan confirms that Tang officially left the firm on May 10 and that it has yet to find a replacement. However, he says Tang's last job title was executive director of the global strategic relationship group, responsible for intermediary clients.

Tang took up that role earlier this year, with Eddy Wong, previously head of intermediary distribution for Hong Kong, succeeding him, says the spokesman.