Franklin Templeton has promoted YB Jeon to lead its Korea business, while previous country head Andrew Ashton has moved to Dubai.

Jeon will be the first local person to run the US asset manager's Korea office. He says his role is intended to build closer relationships with more senior people among institutional investors, wholesale distributors and regulators.

He joined the firm as its first head of institutional sales in 2001, shortly after it bought out a domestic partner to become the first foreign player to wholly own an onshore business.

Franklin Templeton became one of the first fund managers to win an investment mandate from the National Pension Service -- a $40 million deal for domestic equities -- and today runs over a $1 billion for the state-run retirement fund.

Jeon inherits a business that manages over $6 billion from Korean institutional and retail investors. He says the firm has hired a new head of institutional sales from a competitor, but declined to name the person until he starts in August.

Ashton spent his tenure taking advantage of new regulations that allow foreigners to promote international products via master-feeder structures for won-denominated investors. Franklin Templeton was the first to offer such products. Jeon says the internal platform has been developed and now is the time to expand business with investors and distributors.

Ashton has taken up a role as head of what the firm terms 'Ceemea', a huge expanse of 27 markets in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The post includes overseeing hubs in Johannesburg and Warsaw.

The role was last held by Harshendu Bindal, who moved to India last year to run the business there. Both Ashton and Bindal report to Vivek Kudva in Mumbai, who oversees both India and Ceemea.