Fidelity's loss proves HSBC Global Asset Management's gain, as Julie Koo takes up the newly created role of Asia-Pacific head of institutional sales at the UK firm. AsianInvestor reported her departure from Fidelity last week.

Koo will assume the Hong Kong-based role on February 18, reporting to Patrice Conxicoeur, Asia-Pacific head of institutional business at HSBC Global Asset Management. She will lead a team of 15-20 people in the region.

Koo had been at Fidelity for the past 15 years, most recently as head of institutional business development for Asia ex-Japan. Before moving to the region, she had worked with Fidelity in the UK and the US with responsibility for business development and client and product management.

Conxicoeur had previously headed the local and regional institutional sales teams, so splitting out the role is a clear indication of ambitions to grow. He says the firm will continue to expand its teams in the region to capture business opportunities, particularly in Japan and Taiwan.

"We will focus on the strategies that we can add value to our clients and on the areas where can make a difference, including for instance liquidity funds and global credits in the mainstream and in niche investment solutions with our expertise in ABS/MBS [asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities], emerging-market debt and funds of hedge funds," says Conxicoeur.

Rudolf Apenbrink, Asia-Pacific chief executive at HSBC Global Asset Management, notes a growing need for institutional asset-management expertise in the region. "Over the years, we have successfully built our credentials, particularly in the insurance, sovereign wealth and pension fund space, as a true solutions provider, supported by our multiple investment specialists," he says.

Koo's hire follows on the heels of the promotion of Anita Fung to head of global banking and markets for Asia-Pacific in Hong Kong, with responsibility for global asset management across the region. Fung was previously Asia-Pacific head of global markets, which includes sales and trading, balance-sheet management and debt capital markets.