Wayne Shum has left Franklin Templeton in Hong Kong to join HSBC Investments in a newly created role as director and head of sovereigns and supranationals for Asia Pacific.

He will run the regional effort for the sovereigns-and-supranationals business unit that was first assembled in April under the leadership of Cynthia Sweeney Barnes, London-based global head. He also reports locally to Au King-lun, director and head of institutional business.

Au explains HSBC as a group has always worked for clients such as central banks and supranational organisations, but the new unit is meant to give this work strategic focus. It will involve coordinating not only with various parts of HSBC Investments, but also the relationships developed by the bank.

ôThis will allow us to provide services ranging from treasury to wealth management for central banks and other major investment groups,ö says Shum. His team will be able to sell products and ideas not just from HSBC Investments, but also the bankÆs treasury desk and from affiliated specialist managers such as HSBC Halbis Partners (active fund management and hedge funds) and Sinopia Asset Management (structured products). These businesses manage a combined $347 billion worldwide.

HSBC now joins a growing number of fund managers building teams dedicated to the fast-growing and enormous sovereign wealth funds, following the likes of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, JPMorgan Asset Management, Morgan Stanley Investment Management and independent fund houses such as Schroder Investment Management.

Shum is on the lookout for people to join his team in areas such as client service and relationship management. One driver to setting up a dedicated team for these clients is the commitment to training that is required.

Sweeney Barnes is handling Europe and the Mena (Middle East and North Africa) region, while the firm is still looking for ShumÆs counterpart for the Americas.

Shum joined Franklin Templeton in the summer of 2004 and rose to become managing director of its institutional business in the region. Prior to that he was an investment consultant at Mercer, first in Toronto and then in Hong Kong, where he became the senior consultant.