Fidelity International has hired former BGI Asia manager Mark Talbot in a new role to develop its retail, wholesale and institutional businesses in Greater China, Singapore and South Korea.
Based in Hong Kong as managing director for Asia ex-Japan, he will focus on driving sales and marketing as well as product development, says Arne Lindman, Asia-Pacific CEO for Fidelity International.
Talbot is set to start on June 27, having retired as Asia ex-Japan CEO for Barclays Global Investors (BGI) in Hong Kong at the end of 2009 – at the same time that BlackRock completed its acquisition of BGI to create the world’s largest asset manager.
A Fidelity spokeswoman says Lindman has spent his first year at Fidelity since switching from Prudential AM “assessing the business across the region and has come to the conclusion that the importance and complexity of the Asia business requires a dedicated senior leader”.
Asked if Talbot would have a hiring mandate, she added: “He will be inheriting an experienced management team and his priorities will be to work closely with them to take hold of the business he will be responsible for.”
Talbot ran BGI’s Asia ex-Japan business since 2003, when it had just nine people in total. Prior to that he was CIO for Asia fixed income at BGI, and overall has nearly 20 years’ industry experience.
He will report to Lindman, who stresses that an important part of Talbot’s role will be to liaise with local governments and regulators and to help strike a balance between protecting investor interests and encouraging long-term savings.
Lindman points out that having global industry players such as Fidelity participating in the regulatory debate “will become paramount in the next two-to-three years in Asia, so this will also be a key focus for this [Talbot’s] new role”.
Further, Fidelity also announced the appointment of Judy Marlinski as its new president for Japan, starting on June 1. She too reports to Lindman and succeeds Thomas Balk, who will take up a new position at Fidelity International in the UK, having opted to move back to Europe with his family after five years in Tokyo.
Marlinski has spent 25 years at Fidelity, the last eight of which have been in Tokyo, first as chief operating officer for investments and, since 2006, head of product management.
Lindman notes that as the leading foreign asset manager in Japan’s mutual fund market, Marlinski inherits a strong business.
“Her experience in investments and products will be of great value in her new role, where our business success will rely greatly on addressing the unique needs that Japan’s demographic ageing poses,” adds Lindman.
Fidelity Japan’s total assets of publicly offered investment trusts (onshore domestic funds) managed was ¥2.1 trillion ($26 billion) as at the end of March this year, according to the Investment Trust Association.
Established in 1969, Fidelity International manages or administers client assets of $309.7 billion as at March 31 this year. It has over seven million customer holdings and manages more than 750 equity, fixed income, property and asset allocation funds.
AsianInvestor named Talbot in its list of the 25 most influential people in asset management in 2009. He is a former fixed income portfolio manager in London, first for Nissan Seimei Life and then at State Street Global Advisors, before joining BGI in San Francisco to help build the US fixed income business.
AsianInvestor also placed Lindman’s switch from Prudential AM to Asia-Pacific president and CEO of Fidelity as the second most significant people move of last year, after the top-ranked transition of Rohit Bhagat from global COO of BGI to Asia-Pacific chairman at BlackRock.
BlackRock posted an 8% increase in global AUM for the first quarter of 2011 to $3.65 trillion. It has about $400 billion in AUM in Asia-Pacific, making it the biggest non-Asian asset manager in the region. The firm has more than 9,300 people globally.