HSBC Global Asset Management has lured an executive from rival Axa Investment Managers to lead coverage of insurance companies for Asia Pacific. 

Edith Lin started on July 3 as director of institutional business in the regional financial institutions group, an HSBC spokeswoman told AsianInvestor.

She will focus on Asia Pacific's fast-growing insurance segment, which has around $7 trillion in assets under management, according to a Standard Life Investments report published in October.

Based in Hong Kong, Lin reports to Pedro Bastos, chief executive for Asia Pacific for HSBC AM.

Edith Lin: new role

She was previously a director and client relationship manager at Axa IM covering business development and providing investment solutions for insurers, according to her Linkedin page. Axa IM declined to comment on Lin's departure.

The HSBC spokeswoman said that while the firm has other executives covering institutional business, Lin’s role had been newly created to focus on insurers in the region.

Patrice Conxicoeur had been Hong Kong-based global head of insurance coverage at HSBC AM, before he moved to Tokyo in April 2015 to become the firm's chief executive for Japan.

Conxicoeur was charged with maintaining key client relationships in the region, which were gradually taken over by the regional institutional business heads, the spokeswoman said. 

Early last year HSBC AM had hired Bin Han and Valerie Ang as heads of institutional business for China and Southeast Asia to replace Mark Li and James Ong, respectively. Han joined from Credit Suisse in March, while Ang moved from Havenport Asset Management in January. 

Fund houses see opportunities in Asia both to help insurers manage their general account assets and to provide products for their distribution platforms.

Many life insurers in the region are looking to ramp up their wealth offerings, a consultant told AsianInvestor this month. A major focus is to build up their offering of savings, unit-linked products and other investment products for the high net-worth segment, he noted, declining to be named.