BNP Paribas Securities Services, a custodian with $9 trillion in assets under custody, has appointed Philippe Benoît as head of Asia Pacific, replacing Lawrence Au, effective January 1. 

Au is stepping down as part of his retirement plan, but will remain with the bank as executive adviser. In this newly created role, he will have strategic oversight on certain key client relationships in the region and act as executive sponsor for key projects in Greater China. 

Benoît was previously global head of finance, legal and ALM treasury for BNP Paribas Securities Services based in Paris. He joined the firm in 2002 after spending eight years in the banking department of consultancy PwC, including two years in New York.

Au joined BNP Paribas Securities Services as Asia-Pacific head in April 2010, before which he had spent 10 years at US custodian Northern Trust. He has also worked for Bank of New York and JP Morgan.

Patrick Colle, general manager of BNP Paribas Securities Services, said initiatives in Asia Pacific such as RMB internationalisation, pension fund reforms and various cross-border fund passports were throwing up opportunities for his business.

BNP Paribas Securities Services employs almost 2,000 people in Asia Pacific and is present in eight markets in the region – Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore.