MAS names sustainability head; Malaysia’s EPF appoints COO and CFO; GIC PE head for SEA leaves; State Super hires new exec; Hesta appoints chief growth officer, chief Debby Blakey appointed to corporate governance board; ex-BlackRock exec joins IQ-EQ in Singapore; HSBC AM builds direct real estate team; ex-Vanguard head of distribution joins LGIM; Sanne names Singapore head; and more
The bank says the appointment ties in neatly with first-quarter expansion plans to roll out third-party clearing services for equities in Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan.
Mike Sleightholme, managing director and head of direct custody and clearing for Asia Pacific at Citi, says Williams has been appointed to oversee those expansion plans.
"The regulators and exchanges are allowing third-party clearing for the first time in this region," Sleightholme explains. "This arrangement offers new possibilities for exchange members who don't want to run their own back-office infrastructure. Via third-party clearing they can access these markets more easily and on a variable cost basis. As a result we see a lot of demand from brokers and banks."
Williams replaces Mike Drumgoole who left three months ago to join SetClear in Singapore, a new company of CLSA Group that offers trade settlement and agency-clearing for buy-side investors and international broker/dealers.
With 15 years experience under his belt, Williams previously headed up custody and clearing operations at rival Deutsche Bank in Hong Kong. Sources at the German bank say he has not yet been replaced.
For Williams, the move also represents a return to his beginnings: his career launched in London with Citibank, providing global custody services to insurance and reinsurance clients.
Investors still favour private equity assets for their higher growth, better governance structures, and diversification potential.
The recent focus on greenwashing has put bond issues under greater scrutiny. However, some market participants believe this risks paralysis by analysis.
The AU$85 billion ($61.6 billion) Australian super fund has some exposure to indebted property developer Evergrande. Meanwhile, China’s construction finance is part of its core strategy in real estate.
Investors are seeing the risks, but also the opportunities of the logistics sector. Warehousing their fears for the moment, they can see it's a good conduit to high-growth assets.