BNY Mellon Investment Management has hired Lindsay Wright, who left Invesco last month, as its new Asia-Pacific co-head and head of distribution, as it moves to rebuild its management team in the region.

This comes after substantial cutbacks at the US multi-boutique firm last year, including the closure of its Spectrum separately managed account (SMA) platform and the departure of several senior staff, including Asia-Pacific chief executive Alan Harden.

BNYM IM confirmed that Wright, along with Asia-Pacific co-head Doni Shamsuddin, is effectively replacing Harden. Based in Hong Kong, Wright will lead the firm’s distribution efforts across financial institutions, governments, sovereign wealth funds and intermediaries in the region.

Hong Kong-based Shamsuddin was appointed co-head of Asia in January, retaining his previous role as Asia-Pacific chief product and operating officer. Both he and Wright report to Matt Oomen, head of international distribution based in London.

In addition, Nicolas Kopitsis has been named head of intermediary distribution for Asia ex-Japan in February. Previously country head for Switzerland, he is now based in Singapore and reports to Wright.

Rumours of Wright’s appointment confirmed market speculation following her resignation from Invesco, where she had been regional head of institutional, alternatives and investment solutions. 

A respected Asia market veteran, she has 30 years’ experience in senior leadership and distribution roles. Before joining Invesco, she had been co-CEO of China's Harvest Capital Management and CEO of Harvest Alternative Investments.

BNYM IM's new management team can be seen as an effort to mount a comeback in the region after its abrupt cutbacks almost a year ago. The firm shut down the Spectrum platform and laid off some 50 staff in June last year, admitting that the SMA business had taken longer than expected to gain traction. But Malaysia-based CIMB was disappointed by the move; it already had private banking clients signed up to the service.

Harden left the firm soon after Spectrum shut down, and in September BNY IM said it was looking to hire a new Asia CEO.

Asked whether the firm had experienced outflows following the closure of Spectrum and the staff cuts last year, a spokesman said by email that assets sourced from Asia Pacific had grown from $56 billion to more than $90 billion over the past five years. He added that BNYM IM had ended the quarter up $1 billion in net long-term flows, without further elaboration on the time period this was measured over.

Asked about the firm's strategy for Asia and how it planned to reassure clients about its commitment to the region, the spokesman said: “Asia is a significant region for BNY Mellon Investment Management, hence the importance of a leadership team who can lead our focus on institutional opportunities with leading financial institutions, governments and sovereign wealth funds, as well as financial intermediaries and private wealth distributors, to offer the best investment strategies from our boutiques across all major asset classes."

The three new appointments will help lead the continued growth of the investment management business in Asia Pacific, he noted. The firm has $1.6 trillion under management globally.