Duo exits EFG to set up external asset manager

Two EFG executives, including the Asia head of investments of the funds arm, are leaving the Swiss bank to set up an external asset management business next month.
Duo exits EFG to set up external asset manager

A senior duo are leaving Switzerland’s EFG to join the growing list of finance veterans launching external asset management firms in Asia.

The executives in question are Harmen Overdijk, Asia head of investments at EFG Asset Management, and Lodewijk Lamaison van den Berg, managing director at EFG Bank in Hong Kong. They are due to launch the business, Caidao Wealth, in Hong Kong in the first week of September.

It will be part of Caidao Capital, an independent private equity platform founded and run by Ming Lee, who previously established German private bank Sal Oppenheim’s Asian presence.

Caidao Wealth will continue working with EFG as a booking platform, as it knows the firm very well, said Lamaison van den Berg.

Both he and Overdijk had been with EFG since 2008 and previously also worked at MeesPierson, a Dutch private bank (at the time known as Fortis MeesPierson).

Overdijk founded EFG AM’s Asian portfolio management team. He has also served as managing director of investments for Asia and global head of investment strategy and research at Fortis Private Bank, and as Asia chief investment officer at Fortis MeesPierson.

Lamaison van den Berg had been with EFG since October 2008 as a relationship manager and prior to that was with Fortis MeesPierson for almost eight years.

EFG did not respond by to a query about whether the two executives had been or would be replaced.

A growing number of senior bankers are moving into EAM structures, for reasons such as that they are disgruntled with their bank platforms or because they don’t want to share client revenues, said a Hong Kong-based recruiter.

For EAMs to succeed, the bankers involved "need to have sufficient, and sufficiently loyal clients”, he noted. “They also tend to have something a bit unusual to distinguish themselves.” 

Singapore is probably ahead of the curve on such launches, but in Hong Kong, too, a lot of EAMs are starting up, he added.

The nascent independent asset manager (IAM) industry in Hong Kong and Singapore is set to double its AUM to $56 billion by 2020, and its share of wealthy clients’ assets will in turn expand, according to research by Swiss private bank Julius Baer.

The firm includes external asset managers and multi-family offices (MFOs) within the definition of IAM, but not single-family offices or traditional fund houses.

The average size of each IAM is tipped to grow by 43% in Hong Kong to $430 million from $300 million and by 60% in Singapore to $400 million from $250 million. Julius Baer estimates there are 40 IAMs in Hong Kong and 60 in Singapore, with the total number set to rise to at least 130 by 2020.

Other recent regional launches in this segment included that of MFO platform Inner Sanctum in SingaporeWaterfield Advisors' MFO business in Mumbai and Union Bancaire Privee's MFO unit.

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