BNP Paribas Investment Partners (BNPP IP) has poached Mandy Lui from Schroder Investment Management to act as its new North Asia head of private wealth distribution, reflecting a steady rise in coverage of this segment. 

She replaces Guenter Tschiderer, who will relocate to Singapore to take on the newly created role of Southeast Asia head of private wealth distribution. 

They report to Christian Bucaro, Asia-Pacific head of private wealth distribution based in Singapore. The Southeast Asia head role had previously fallen under his remit.

Based in Hong Kong, Lui heads coverage of third-party intermediaries across North Asia, including banks, private banks and insurance firms. 

BNPP IP now has 10 private wealth distribution staff across Singapore and Hong Kong, including the two team heads.

At Schroders, Lui was responsible for private bank distribution in Hong Kong. She left on November 13, and the UK fund house has restructured the private bank sales team, so there is no need for an external appointment to replace her role, said a spokeswoman. She declined to provide more details of the team restructuring.

Tschiderer has been with the BNP Paribas group for 10 years and has carried out roles in business development and portfolio management across Paris and Hong Kong. 

Tino Moorrees, head of Asia sales at BNPP IP, said the latest moves were part of the firm’s plans to expand in the private wealth business, particularly in respect of its multi-asset products.

There has been a significant trend in the past two years for asset managers in Asia to significantly increase their focus on intermediary sales, notably to private banks. Firms to have added dedicated staff to cover this segment since early 2014 include Axa Investment Managers, BlackRock, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, JP Morgan AM, State Street Global Advisors and T. Rowe Price

Such moves would seem to be validated by recent research. Consultancy Casey Quirk released a report earlier this month arguing that individual investors, rather than institutions, will drive the vast bulk of fund managers' new business in the coming five years.