CIMB-Principal CEO changes reflect regional plans

The Malaysian joint-venture asset manager has announced new chief executives as part of a rotation of posts, further signalling its international ambitions.
CIMB-Principal CEO changes reflect regional plans

Following a management reshuffle earlier this year, Malaysia’s CIMB-Principal Asset Management – winner of AsianInvestor’s Asian fund house of the year for 2013 – has announced more changes at the top.

Munirah Khairuddin is promoted to chief executive of CIMB-Principal Malaysia from deputy CEO, while Pedro Esteban Borda is named CEO of the Asean region, a newly created role. The appointments are effective from 21 August.

The creation of the Asean CEO role reflects the firm's international ambitions with regard to building up its Southeast Asian business (it has branches in Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand) – as well as outside its home region. It is also in line with parent CIMB Group's aggressive moves this year to strengthen its presence in markets such as Hong Kong, India, Korea and Taiwan.

Raja Noorma Othman, head of group asset management at CIMB Group, says: “We are focused on our core strategies of fortifying our position as a leading asset management company and pension provider in Malaysia, while realising our ambition to be Asean’s most valued investment management company offering total asset management solutions.”

The new appointments follow the departure of Campbell Tupling, who stepped down in April after four-and-a-half years as CEO of CIMB-Principal AM. Borda took his role in the interim, having served since 2004 as Mexico head of US firm Principal Financial Group (PFG). PFG is the parent of Principal Global Investors, the joint-venture partner of CIMB Group in CIMB-Principal.

Khairuddin joined CIMB-Principal in November 2006, and as deputy CEO was instrumental in the development of international business opportunities and institutional sales. She also played an integral part in the strategic business development initiatives of CIMB Wealth Advisors as its acting CEO, says CIMB-Principal.

Before joining the firm, she was a G7 economist and strategist for Malaysian state oil-and-gas company Petronas and a fixed income portfolio manager for emerging markets at Rothschild Asset Management in London.

Borda joined PFG in 1996, before which he was managing director of Ethika EFJP, a pension company in Argentina. In 1999, he was relocated to Mexico to become the managing director of Principal Afore (the Mexican mandatory pension business).

It is also understand that Jumpon Saimala is set to take over as head of CIMB-Principal’s Thai unit. He was previously CEO of ING Funds Thailand, which was acquired late last year by Singapore’s UOB Asset Management.

Prakarn Tawisuwan is currently acting managing director at CIMB-Principal Thailand. Anusorn Buranakanonda held the post previously.

CIMB-Principal declined to confirm or comment on Saimala's appointment. ING declined to comment on whether he would be replaced.

In addition, Noripah Kamso retired as CEO of CIMB-Principal Islamic Asset Management and was replaced by Ramlie Kamsari on March 1. Kamsari was brought into CIMB-Principal Islamic AM in February last year with a view to him succeeding Kamso, who had held the post since 2008, before which she was CEO of CIMB-Principal AM.

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