After 10 years in Singapore with American asset manager Eaton Vance, Asia head Rob White announced internally last week that he planned to retire early next year for personal reasons.

He told AsianInvestor that he would return to his native England, adding: "It's time to go home after close to 20 years away."

"Rob remains committed to the business and will remain on board until further notice," a spokeswoman told AsianInvestor. "We will ensure a smooth transition for all approvals that are required."

Rob White

Boston-based Eaton Vance, with $507 billion under management globally as of July, has engaged a recruiter to help find a suitable replacement, she added.

White joined as Asia president in September 2010 to set up the Singapore office, as reported exclusively by AsianInvestor. He has since overseen a trebling of the regional asset base from $2.9 billion in October 2012 to $9.5 billion, driven by inflows from institutional clients, largely in Japan. The latter figure includes $2.3 billion managed by Hexavest, an investment boutique 49%-owned by Eaton Vance.

White has led sales and client coverage for Asia, excluding Australia, with an institutional investor focus. He initially helped build the asset base in Australia and also looked after Japan until 2018.

During White’s time with Eaton Vance, it has added a presence with subsidiary Parametric in Australia in 2011, opened an office in Japan in 2016 and struck distribution partnerships with the likes of Korea’s Daishin Securities and Japan’s Mizuho Securities.

More recently, he hired Ryan Kim as regional business development director from Dutch fund house Robeco in October last year. And Fionna Boh joined as a senior business development associate in April this year from Aberdeen Standard, according to her LinkedIn page.

Eaton Vance’s most popular strategies in Asia have been those focused on floating-rate bank loans, US and global high-yield bonds, multi-asset credit, municipal bonds and emerging market local- and hard-currency income, a spokeswoman told AsianInvestor.

Before joining the firm, White had been with Banquo Credit Management in Singapore, where he was largely involved in capital raising. He has also been head of proprietary investments and asset trading at Ahli United Bank of Bahrain and worked for British bank Barclays Capital.