BNY Mellon has appointed Thom Fisher as general manager of its Tokyo branch and country executive for Japan, while beginning to search for a replacement for David Jiang, previous Asia-Pacific CEO for BNY Mellon’s asset management business.

Jiang remains with BNY Mellon but has moved to affiliated company Mellon Capital in San Francisco, a passive and ETF asset manager. In that role, Jiang will have global sales responsibility so will continue to have contact with clients in Asia-Pacific, but no longer has a specific focus on this region.

Chris Sturdy, Asia-Pacific chairman at BNY Mellon, says the search for a replacement for Jiang is now underway.

The move follows the arrival of a new global CEO for BNY Mellon, Curtis Arledge, who joined in November from BlackRock after his predecessor, Ronald Harley, departed BNY Mellon AM for Fidelity in Boston. Meanwhile, BNY Mellon’s international head, London-based Jon Little, has also left to run a family office in the UK.

“So there was no search for an Asia head of asset management until Curtis began work,” says Sturdy.

BNY Mellon has four legal entities in Japan: asset management, securities, a bank branch and a trust bank. The asset-management company continues to be run by Shogo Yamaguchi who previously reported to Jiang. The securities company is run by Makoto Saji, and its businesses include asset servicing, alternative investment services, broker/dealer services and depositary receipts.

The bank branch in Japan, with a pedigree stretching back over 40 years, covers FX, derivatives, global markets, treasury services and operations. The trust bank business, acquired from Chase Manhattan in March 2009, is now run by Dominick Falco.

In 2009, Japan’s Financial Supervisory Agency permitted a single country executive to oversee all of a firm’s local businesses and entities. BNY Mellon has therefore created such a role for Thom Fisher, who will serve as head of the branch and will sit on the boards of the other three entities. He will have a hand in strategy, execution and regulatory affairs for all the businesses, and will report to Sturdy, who is based in Hong Kong.

“We do this because Japan is our biggest market in Asia-Pacific in terms of revenues, and it is our biggest growth opportunity,” says Sturdy. That is because of Japan’s aging population, its $16 trillion worth of household savings, and the need for its people and institutions to diversify internationally and invest for higher yields.

“To succeed in Japan requires a large asset-management company that can also service securities investments globally, and we have both businesses,” says Sturdy. “The financial-services groups that are involved in managing Japanese assets are also using our infrastructure internationally.”

Fisher has held senior roles at Deutsche Bank, Natwest Securities, Tiger Management, BPB Associates and Morgan Stanley. He was most recently a consultant to a UK hedge fund manager with a Middle Eastern focus, Blue Sky Strategy.

Fisher’s Asia experience includes three years in Singapore as chief infrastructure officer at Deutsche, as well as stints in Hong Kong and Tokyo for Morgan Stanley.

Malcolm Podmore, who has served as the Tokyo branch’s general manager since March as well as head of global operations for Japan, is also taking the role of deputy general manager under Fisher.