BOC Group Life Assurance, the Hong Kong-based insurance unit of Bank of China, has appointed Alvin Ying as the new chief investment officer for its $14 billion asset portfolio.

He was previously BOC LIfe’s head of fixed income and equity investments and took up his new role on October 19, succeeding Jennifer Kwan. She is moving to a senior role at BOCHK Asset Management, well-placed industry sources told AsianInvestor.

Alvin Ying

It's understood that there are other changes also taking place in BOC Life's investment team, with the business set to make further new appointments soon. Both the firm and Ying declined to comment.

Kwan has spent some nine years at BOC Life, eight as CIO and 15 months has head of fixed income and credit, according to her LinkedIn page.

Over the course of the seven years that Ying has been with the insurer, it has expanded its investment portfolio from high-grade debt and domestic equities into new assets such as leveraged loans and emerging market bonds.

BOC Life uses both in-house investment and external fund managers to manage its portfolio of investment grade bonds, global high yield, emerging market debt and global equities.

Before joining BOC Life, Ying spent 12 years across sell side and buy side roles in New York, London and Hong Kong.

He was most recently a sovereign credit analyst at UBS and before that helped run a multi-asset portfolio at Seven Pillars Capital Management, both London-based roles. Ying started his career at JP Morgan in New York and worked in various roles at the bank, mostly in emerging market debt.

Kwan, meanwhile, has also worked as head of Asia investment strategy at Canadian insurer Manulife, in treasury portfolio management at DBS Bank and in credit research at JP Morgan.

Alvin Ying will be speaking alongside other investment experts at a webinar on November 24 hosted by AsianInvestor in conjunction with Credit Suisse Asset Management and entitled 'Emerging Markets Corporate Debt – Navigating the Unknown'. For more details and to register free of charge, please click here.