First State Investments, part of Australian group Colonial First State, grew its equities and fixed-income investment teams in Indonesia in late 2010, having lost its chief operating officer (COO) earlier in the year. The hires are in line with plans to launch new funds in both asset classes.

Eli Djurfanto joined as head of fixed income in late November, a newly created role that signifies plans to expand in this asset class, says Michael Stapleton, head of Asia ex-Japan at First State in Hong Kong. Djurfanto reports to Hario Soeprobo, the chief executive for Indonesia, and joins the existing fixed-income portfolio manager.

Djurfanto previously headed fixed income at the Indonesian branch of Manulife Asset Management, which replaced him with Djumala Sutedja. Sutedja rejoined, having spent the previous year as head of joint-venture Asuransi Jiwa Manulife Indonesia’s investment unit. Before joining Manulife, Sutedja spent four years running the fixed-income portfolio management team at ABN Amro Investment Management in Jakarta.

First State Indonesia plans to launch a new bond fund and its first money-market fund in Indonesia in the first quarter of 2011, says Stapleton. The bond fund will be an income-style fund and is likely to be followed by an absolute-return bond fund late in the year. The current bond fund and the new funds are and will be invested in Indonesian bonds, both dollar- and rupiah-denominated.

On the equities side, Ni Made Muliartini arrived at First State Indonesia – also in late November – in a newly created role as senior portfolio manager, reporting to head of equities Hazrina Dewi. She brings the equity investment headcount up to five – three portfolio managers and two analysts – and runs the firm’s largest equities fund, the sectoral equity fund. Muliartini joined from a similar role at Schroder Investment Management, where she had worked since 2003.

But it wasn’t all one-way hiring traffic for First State last year. In August, Manulife AM poached First State Indonesia’s COO, Legowo Kusumonegoro, as its new president director to replace Denny Thaher, who left in early 2010. First State appointed Handityo Tranggono, formally head of compliance, as its new COO.

Meanwhile, Manulife AM made several hires in Indonesia in 2010 to newly created roles – Iman Rochmani arrived as COO, Steven Suryana as head of marketing and Justitia Tripurwasani as head of risk.

This followed an inauspicious start to the year, however. The firm’s business was suspended for two weeks in January while it responded to queries from the capital markets regulator, Bapepam, which was concerned about resignations filed in December by Manulife AM directors Denny Thaher and Li Ming Suryaputra. Thaher did depart, but Suryaputra ultimately decided to stay at Manulife.

Manulife AM Indonesia did not launch any new funds last year, although its assets under management grew by 16% to $2.82 billion.