Eastspring Investments is set to announce the hire of Michele Bang from Deutsche Bank as deputy chief executive and global head of distribution, product and marketing, AsianInvestor can confirm.
The appointment was announced internally to staff yesterday. She is due to start later this year based in Hong Kong, at a date still to be confirmed.
Bang will report directly to Guy Strapp, chief executive of Eastspring, the recently rebranded Asian asset management business of Prudential Corporation Asia. That rebranding formed the start of the firm’s strategic global push.
Bang's addition means the firm now has a new leadership team in Asia, after Strapp officially switched from CIO to CEO this August, replacing Graham Mason as he relocated to South Africa.
Her position, which is newly created, is a reflection of the firm’s global expansion plan, says Strapp. Eastspring had $94 billion in AUM as at the end of June this year. It saw a 17% year-on-year increase in Asia-Pacific-sourced assets last year, by AsianInvestor numbers.
Recently the firm opened a sales office in London, which will act as its European hub. Last year it opened two offices in the US.
Strapp points to Bang’s regional and global asset management experience, saying it will help drive the firm’s global strategic expansion. In 2011, AsianInvestor chose Bang as one of the 25 most influential women in Asian finance.
“In the next phase of our growth strategy, we will take our Asian investment expertise to a global investor base and continue to drive growth in key markets in Asia,” he says.
A key part of Bang’s role will see her take global responsibility for distribution, product and marketing. Each of the regional heads for these segments will report to Bang.
On the distribution side, that includes Jeff Smith for the Americas, Russell Danby and Gordon Hogarth for Europe, and Koh Hui-jian as global head of retail distribution based in Singapore.
In April this year Eastspring lost its global head of institutional distribution based in Singapore, Dean Winterton, to Perpetual. It also lost its head of retail distribution in Singapore, Beonca Yip, also in April this year.
Nevertheless, Bang’s role is an expanded one to focus on global business expansion. Strapp confirms that Bang will work closely with the firm’s insurance partner Prudential, as well as joint-venture partners as part of its growth plans.
Previously Bang worked as head of the global client group for North Asia at Deutsche’s recently merged asset and wealth management business, having joined the German bank in 2005. Her title was managing director and she had responsibility for several Asian markets, so her Eastspring role is a major promotion.
Prior to Deutsche, Bang managed the regional structured product distribution platform for CIBC, Toronto Dominion and Chemical Bank in Hong Kong and Tokyo.
Overall Eastspring has operations in 14 markets and almost 2,000 staff. It says more than a third of its assets are sourced from third-party clients, including retail and institutional. It also managed the assets of life and pension products sold by Prudential in the UK, US and across Asia.
In Asia it operates in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, , the UAE and Vietnam. It has joint ventures in India, China and Hong Kong.