Conning hires Kratz for Asia buildout

The US-based firm names Bo Kratz from Northern Trust Asset Management as CEO of its Asia operations, including CCAM. He comes in to replace Mark Konyn.
Conning hires Kratz for Asia buildout

US firm Conning has announced the appointment of Bo Kratz from Northern Trust Asset Management as its new chief executive officer for Asia Pacific.

Starting in the role yesterday in Hong Kong, Kratz will direct all Asia operations for Conning, including Cathay Conning Asset Management (CCAM).

In had appeared that Kratz had a wider remit and so was not a direct replacement for Mark Konyn, who quit CCAM in mid-July after three-and-a-half years as its CEO based in Hong Kong, as reported. Konyn subsequently joined AIA as group chief investment officer on September 1, as reported.

But when asked if Kratz was a direct replacement, a spokesperson for CCAM told AsianInvestor: "The CEO of Conning Asia Pacific replaces the former role of CEO of CCAM.

"He will direct the Hong Kong office and he will also be responsible for developing the overall strategic plan to leverage Conning and Cathay Financial Holdings’ asset management resources in the Asia Pacific region."

Conning had relocated James Moreno from London to take control of the Hong Kong office following Konyn’s departure. A spokesperson for CCAM yesterday confirmed that Moreno would remain in Hong Kong to facilitate an orderly handover before relocating to Conning’s headquarters in Connecticut early next year.

A Swedish national, Kratz will be responsible for developing strategic plans to leverage Conning and Cathay Financial Holdings’ asset management resources in Asia Pacific.

In a statement, Kratz said he saw an opportunity for Conning to leverage its capabilities in asset management, risk and capital management solutions.

Woody Bradford, chairman and CEO of Conning globally, talked up Kratz’s experience in asset management across the region as it strives to differentiate its offering to institutional and retail clients.

CCAM picked up one of AsianInvestor’s marquee awards this summer as Institutional Solutions Provider of the Year on account of its innovative approach to asset liability modeling for insurers (see AsianInvestor’s July 2015 magazine edition).

Most recently Kratz served for three years as Asia-Pacific head for Northern Trust Asset Management, based in Hong Kong. In this role he oversaw equity and fixed income strategies for large institutional clients in the region.

Prior to that he has taken a one-year sabbatical in Southeast Asia after spending five years as Asia managing director of Permal Asset Management.

He has also worked in marketing and institutional roles for ABN Amro Asset Management Asia, as well as equities CIO for Alfred Berg.

A spokesperson for North Trust Asset Management confirmed that Kratz had officially left the firm on December 5 this year. Wayne Bowers, head of the firm's Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific businesses, will oversee the position on an interim basis.

"Northern Trust has a strong team in place in Asia and has begun a search for a replacement," the spokesperson confirmed.

Conning had $93 billion in assets under management globally as at September 30, including subsidiaries of Conning Holdings, which is owned by Taiwan-based Cathay Financial Holding. Headquartered in Connecticut, Conning has offices in New York, London, Cologne, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Northern Trust had $887 billion in assets under management globally as at September 30 this year. It declines to break out its assets on a regional basis.

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