Amundi, the $1.12 trillion French asset manager, has hired Vanessa Wang in Hong Kong as managing director of North Asia institutional business development, AsianInvestor can reveal.

She had headed Citi's services business in China and pensions business for Asia-Pacific for the past six years out of Beijing and left the US bank in July. 

Wang started at Amundi on November 1. In her newly created post, she covers North Asia institutional business, working with and reporting to Zhong Xiaofeng, chief executive for North Asia.

Wang's responsibilities had previously come under Zhong's remit. Her appointment is understood to be a reflection of Amundi's growth and consequent need for more resources on the ground. 

Vanessa Wang

Wang joins at a time when the firm is pushing to expand its global footprint, having gone through a stock market flotation in November 2015.

She also recently became vice chairman of the Hong Kong Retirement Schemes Association, continuing her involvement in promoting pensions issues in Hong Kong and across the region.

For the previous six years, Wang was Asia-Pacific head of pensions at Citi, working closely with David Russell, Asia-Pacific head of securities services at Citi, and most recently reporting to David Ratliff, Asia-Pacific co-head of markets.

Russell said: "Vanessa did a great job at Citi covering some of our most important pension clients in the region. We wish her all the best in her move to the buy side." 

He added that Citi has yet to recruit a replacement for Wang.

Before joining Citi, Wang spent 11 years with Mercer – the first seven in New York as principal consultant and consulting actuary and the last four in Beijing as Asia head of retirement, risk and finance consulting.

Wang told AsianInvestor she had received several offers to move but was attracted by the development plan for Amundi to expand its business across product and client segments in Asia.

Expansion moves

The firm has grown its footprint in Asia in recent years by opening offices in Taiwan in 2012 and Thailand in 2014. In addition, it acquired Malaysia-based KAF Fund Management’s fixed income business in March 2014. Amundi is also eyeing Indonesia, the Philippines and Taiwan as countries where it would like to acquire fund businesses or build partnerships.

Moreover, Amundi listed its first exchange-traded fund in the region in April on the Hong Kong exchange.

In addition, it has joint venture partnerships in the region with Agricultural Bank of China, State Bank of India and Korean banking group Nonghyup. 

Elsewhere, Amundi recently acquired Kleinwort Benson Investors from Swiss private bank Oddo & Cie. It is also among the bidders for US asset manager Pioneer, which is owned by Italian bank UniCredit.