French asset manager BNP Paribas Investment Partners (BNPP IP) is in the market for four investment professionals and a senior distribution executive to cover consumer banks in North Asia.

The firm is moving to strengthen its Asian fixed income desk by adding two professionals, including a credit analyst. The team is currently four-strong and led by Adeline Ng. The new hires will report to Ng and be based in Singapore.

BNPP IP is also seeking two Greater China equity managers to be based in Hong Kong. They will replace two managers who left in September and report to Caroline Yu Maurer, head of Greater China equities. That will bring the team back up to four.

Maurer joined in June from UK firm Henderson Global Investors, where she was a fund manager. She replaced Francois Perrin, who resigned in July and has resurfaced at Swedish asset manager East Capital as a portfolio manager in Hong Kong, as reported

Tino Moorrees, Hong Kong chief executive and Asia head of marketing and sales at BNPP IP, said the additional investment professionals were expected to come on board early next year.

In the sales department, the new consumer bank coverage executive will report to Mandy Lui, who joined this month from Schroder Investment Management as North Asia head of private wealth distribution, as reported. She has three people reporting to her currently.

BNPP IP has moved to strengthen its coverage of consumer and private banks and insurers in the region by hiring Lui and appointing Guenter Tschiderer, whom Lui replaced, as Southeast Asia head of private wealth distribution. The firm is particularly focused on boosting sales of its multi-asset funds

Family offices and external asset managers also represent a segment BNPP IP is keen to tap, but it represents a small part of its client base compared to private and consumer banks, which the firm has been prioritising. 

Unlike managers such as Standard Life Investments, the French firm is not actively looking to get its funds on online platforms such as peer-to-peer groups yet, though it is monitoring developments in this space.

Building out coverage of intermediaries has been a recent trend among fund houses in the region. Firms to have added dedicated staff in this area since early 2014 include Axa Investment ManagersBlackRock,Goldman Sachs Asset ManagementJP Morgan AMState Street Global Advisors and T. Rowe Price

Moreover, in a report this month, consulting firm Casey Quirk said that individual investors, as opposed to institutions, will drive growth of the investment industry over the next five years.

Meanwhile, in terms of products, Moorrees said multi-asset products are one of BNPP IP’s fastest growth areas in terms of asset under management. The European multi-asset fund, which has a 10-year track record, has raised some $350 million from Asia since it was launched in the region in mid-2014, around half the global AUM total.

It recently started offering an existing global multi-asset fund to Asia and was accepted by an international private bank for distribution last month. BNPP IP will be offering a third multi-asset fund in the first quarter of next year, an emerging-market multi-asset product that will be launched in Asia and Europe.