Global securities services firm Bank of New York is expanding its presence in Asia with the opening of a representative office in Kuala Lumpur. The office will meet the increasingly complex needs of the bank's growing Malaysian client base, which includes the $63 billion Employee Provident Fund, by promoting a variety of products and services, including depositary receipts, custody, transition management, commission recapture, global payments, funds transfer, trade services, execution and clearing. It will not be a deposit-taking or banking office.

Alvin Kawn has been appointed as chief rep for the KL representative office. A native of Malaysia with more than 16 years of experience in the banking and capital markets industries, Kwan has been a vice president and Malaysian specialist in Singapore since joining BoNY in 2004. Before that, he served as a director on the boards of both the Bursa Malaysian Derivatives and Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Clearing, and managed a foreign joint-venture brokerage firm.

Kenneth Lopian, executive vice president and head of BoNY's Asia-Pacific division, says, "Although our Kuala Lumpur office is new, we are not newcomers here. The Bank of New York has been serving clients in Malaysia for more than four decades." He says the bank's mission is to help unlock value in Malaysian assets as the business environment continues to open.

The new office has got off to a running start: Prudential Unit Trusts, a unit of the UK's life insurer, has selected BoNY to provide global fund services for Prudential's recently launched Prudential Asia Pacific Equity Fund in Malaysia. The bank will act as global custodian and sub-administrator to the fund, operating through the fund's trustee/custodian and administrator, Maybank. This will require calculating a daily NAV and unit price for the fund, which is among the first non-domestic equity funds to be distributed in Malaysia.

Mark Toh at Prudential Unit Trusts in Kuala Lumpur says BoNY supported the launch of the offshore fund. Prudential also chose the custodian for its ability to provide integrated service solutions for funds across multiple markets. BoNY runs a global fund services operating centre in Singapore.