BNP Paribas Investment Partners has appointed Jean Audibert as president of New Markets Asia in Hong Kong and Patrick Mange as deputy CEO of Shinhan BNP Paribas Asset Management in Seoul.

New Markets Asia was set up by BNP Paribas Investment Partners recently to look after joint ventures in this region. As president of New Markets Asia, Audibert will supervise existing joint ventures in South Korea and China and partner relationships elsewhere in Asia. He will also seek new development and partnership opportunities in the region.

Through its New Markets division, the fund house has developed partnerships around the world and especially in Asia for more than 10 years (in Korea since 1998 and in China since 2003).  The fund house says existing joint ventures under the care of New Markets Asia have around 20 billion in assets under management ad as such are strategic contributors to its growing business in the region.

The logical next step is therefore to establish a structure to ensure a proximity monitoring of partnerships in Asia, says a spokeswoman at the fund house.

Based in Hong Kong, Audibert will work closely with local BNP Paribas Investment Partners teams and will take an active part in its expansion in Asia. He reports to Guy de Froment, vice-chairman of BNP Paribas Asset Management and Max Diulius, global head of New Markets.

BNP Paribas Investment Partners is constantly looking for external growth opportunities, particularly in fast-growing Asian markets.

"It will be an important responsibility of New Markets Asia to contribute to that move," the spokeswoman says. "We are interested in the Taiwanese market and depending on the evolution of its market Vietnam could move up on our agenda."

For the past three years, Audibert has been president and CEO of Shinhan BNP Paribas Investment Trust Management. He has been with the BNP Paribas Group for more than 30 years, including 12 years spent in Asia.

Shinhan BNP Paribas Asset Management, meanwhile, is the new entity resulting from the merger of Shinhan BNP Paribas Investment Trust Management and Shinhan Financial Group's SH Asset Management in January this year. Shinhan Financial holds 65% of the integrated asset management company, while BNP Paribas Investment Partners holds 35%.

Mange heads the investment management teams (equities, interest rates, alternative investment and international funds) of the new entity. He will also be in charge of the research division as well as the financial engineering and product specialist teams.

As deputy CEO, Mange reports to Bhang Gil Choi, CEO of Shinhan BNP Paribas AMC. Choi previously held a number of senior management positions with Shinhan Financial Group.

Mange has been the head of investment strategy for BNP Paribas Asset Management since 2001. Before joining the firm, he worked for Merrill Lynch Capital Markets France as a euro area strategist. Prior to that, he was chief economist and head of fixed-income research at Deutsche Bank in both Frankfurt and Paris.

Over the past 10 years, BNP Paribas Investment Partners has built a network of subsidiaries in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, India, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Turkey, with assets under management of €25 billion as of end-September.

BNP Paribas Investment Partners' joint venture in China is SYWG BNP Paribas Asset Management. The joint venture was set up by Shenyin & Wanguo Securities and BNP Paribas Asset Management. Shenyin & Wanguo holds a 67% stake in the joint venture, while BNP Paribas Asset management holds 33%.

In India, BNP Paribas Asset Management and Sundaram Finance have a joint venture, Sundaram BNP Paribas Asset Management. BNP Paribas Asset Management owns 49.9% of the company. The Indian JV is not part of New Markets Asia although strong operational ties exist with BNP Paribas Asset management's Hong Kong platform, particularly in terms of marketing and product development. For instance, the fund house is currently working on an investment solution giving Asian investors access to the Indian market through Singapore domiciled funds.