BlackRock has promoted its head of Hong Kong institutional sales to lead its coverage of institutional, retail and wealth business for Southeast Asia.

Vishal Agarwal has taken up the newly created role of head of Southeast Asia client business. This is part of the US fund house's ongoing restructuring of client coverage under Andrew Landman, Asia-Pacific head of client business, a spokeswoman for the firm said. 

Agarwal, who relocated to Singapore in March, reports to Landman and to Deborah Ho, head of Southeast Asia.

Brent Kao, head of Taiwan institutional, family office and fund-of-fund sales, has taken on Agarwal's previous duties in Hong Kong in addition to his existing responsibilities, the spokeswoman said.

The institutional, retail and wealth business heads who handle relationships in Southeast Asia now report to Agarwal, she added, declining to name the individuals.

Vishal Agarwal

Agarwal joined BlackRock in July 2011 and before that, was principal at investment consultancy Mercer, according to his LinkedIn page.

His promotion comes amid various other senior changes to the sales team in Asia – both appointments and departures – in the past few months.

Kimberly Kim joined in April as the first dedicated head of BlackRock’s Asia-Pacific financial institutions group, with a primary focus on insurance firms. Her arrival was preceded by the transfer in March of Henry Ashworth from London as Asia-Pacific head of insurance solutions, another newly created role.

Meanwhile, Wendy Kwan, Hong Kong head of private bank sales, left in July to join Julius Baer as the Swiss bank's fund gatekeeper in Hong Kong. She has been replaced at BlackRock by Vivien Lee, who was previously a vice president looking after institutions, family offices and fund-of-fund clients.

BlackRock had integrated its institutional, retail and wealth client teams in Asia under Landman in January, with a view to creating more unified coverage. At the same time Damien Mooney, formerly head of the retail and wealth team, took on the newly created role of Asia-Pacific head of digital wealth.

BlackRock is the biggest fund house both globally and in Asia by assets under management, according to AsianInvestor's latest list of fund managers in the region. Its AUM in Asia Pacific stood at $528 billion at the end of September 2017, while its global AUM was $6.3 trillion as of June 30.