HSBC Private Bank has appointed new co-heads for its global investment group, one based in Hong Kong and the other in London, AsianInvestor has learned.

It comes after the retirement of Nigel Webber at the end of last year after 15 years with the firm. Webber had been the private bank’s chief investment officer based in London and had previously spent seven years as head of investment management in Hong Kong.

Appointed to the new roles last month were managing directors Olivier Pacton in Hong Kong and Jean-Christophe Gerard in Geneva. Gerard will relocate to London. Pacton was previously Asia-Pacific head of the investment group, while Gerard held the same remit for Europe.

They now co-head a group responsible for selection of investment ideas as well as products and services used by HSBC Private Bank. This team comprises more than 500 staff globally split across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (Emea) and Asia.

Pacton's role encompasses investment strategy, including execution, advisory, discretionary services, corporate finance solutions and investment counseling.

An internal memo seen by AsianInvestor says the new co-head model reflects the evolving nature of the private bank and is designed to ensure clients globally can benefit from on-the-ground intelligence.

It adds that it matches HSBC Group’s footprint, enabling the investment team to better plug into the bank’s research, markets, asset management and commercial banking businesses globally.

Pacton joined HSBC in Paris in 1998 and spent five years as head of foreign exchange. He has held several positions since, including general manager for Saudi British Bank (part of the HSBC group), head of G3 trading in Hong Kong and head of trading and sales in Geneva. Previously he worked for JP Morgan, UBS and Citi in FX roles.

Gerard joined the foreign exchange sales unit at HSBC France (Crédit Commercial de France) 21 years ago, moving on to work as FX sales dealer and head of swap and FX trading in Paris.

He has also served as treasurer and head of markets at CCF Hong Kong, fixed income fund manager at HSBC Asset Management Europe and head of the FX desk for HSBC Private Bank Suisse. He became head of the investment group for the latter firm in October 2006 and is its head for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Previously he worked as an auditor for KPMG Audit Paris and as an FX dealer in Credit Lyonnais Paris.