Asset manager Fidelity has scrapped the post of Asia-Pacific chief executive in what it terms a simplification of its structure, resulting in the resignation of regional CEO Arne Lindman.
Lindman, who joined the firm from Prudential as Asia-Pacific president and chief executive in April 2009, will officially step down on Monday, November 26.
Question marks were raised over his role and potential overlaps after Fidelity hired Mark Talbot from the former BGI Asia business as managing director for Asia ex-Japan in June 2011.
Now it transpires that Fidelity has no plans to replace the Asia-Pacific CEO role, while it has appointed Talbot and Japan president Judy Marlinski to its global operating committee. Marlinski took up this role at the same time as Talbot joined the firm.
A spokeswoman for Fidelity tells AsianInvestor that the move is “a simplification of our organisational structure, which has removed the role of Asia-Pacific CEO.
“As a result of the changes the role [Asia-Pacific CEO] is no longer required. Arne Lindman has decided to leave the company.”
Asked if he had been offered another job, she replies: “Regretfully there was no suitable role internally for someone of Arne’s seniority and experience, so he has decided to leave the company. We are very grateful to Arne for his contribution to the company during his time with us.”
She adds that both Asia and Japan are key areas of future growth for Fidelity. “The appointment of Mark and Judy [to the global operating committee] ensures that these important markets will be appropriately represented at the most senior level of management,” she says.
Sources, however, say that Lindman’s departure had been on the cards for a while. “When Talbot went in there it was clear he was ordained to take over from Lindman,” said one industry insider, adding that the outgoing Lindman is “going to go skiing for a while”.
Before Fidelity, Lindman had served as Asia chief executive at Prudential Asset Management for just over a year, after spending four years as Asia-Pacific chief executive at ABN Amro Asset Management. He has also served as CEO of Alfred Berg Asset Management, where he worked for seven years.