Senior fund manager Rajeev de Mello has agreed to join UK asset manager Schroders as its head of Asian fixed income based in Singapore, AsianInvestor can exclusively reveal.

De Mello, who is set to start on July 1, comes in to replace How Phuang-Goh, who has decided to retire from the industry after 17 years at Schroders. He will be leaving the firm in September.

De Mello will now oversee Schroders’ Asia ex-Australia fixed income investment teams, which comprises staff in Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Jakarta, Seoul and Taipei.

As first reported by AsianInvestor, he recently quit Western Asset Management as country head for Singapore, senior investment officer and member of the global investment strategy committee. He had driven Western AM’s growth in Asian local currency strategies as lead portfolio manager.

Before that he worked at Pictet Asset Management as executive vice-president and head of Asian fixed income, leading the firm’s expansion into Asia and managing absolute return and long-only funds.

Karl Dasher, global head of fixed income at Schroders, thanked Goh for his leadership and also welcomed De Mello, saying they were both committed to a seamless management transition.

Dasher says De Mello “brings a combination of team management skills and a demonstrated ability to consistently deliver superior investment performance as a portfolio manager”.

He also pointed to increasing demand from investors globally for access to Asia’s rapidly developing bond markets, as well from Asian investors for diversified global bond strategies.

“Rajeev is the perfect fit for us as we move to the next stage of our development in Asia,” adds Dasher.

Schroders had £201.4 billion ($329 billion) in assets under management globally as of March 31 this year, of which $73 billion was sourced from Asia-Pacific as at the end of last year, by AsianInvestor numbers.