Patrice Conxicoeur, global head of insurance coverage at HSBC Global Asset Management (HSBC GAM), is moving to Tokyo to take up the role of chief executive for HSBC GAM Japan.

Currently based in Hong Kong, Conxicoeur will take over on April 1 from outgoing CEO Sean Matsuda, who has been in the role since 2004, and with HSBC for 22 years. Matsuda is retiring, but will stay with the firm as an adviser, said Conxicoeur.

HSBC’s asset management business in Japan serves the institutional market directly and the retail market via third party distribution. Global Asset Management has 50 people in the Tokyo office. The firm has no local insurance or retail banking. 

“This has been a successful business over a number of years,” Conxicoeur told AsianInvestor.

“As a firm, we have developed a strong presence in Japan. In spite of some of the bad things we hear about the Japanese economy, it is still one of the largest financial services markets in the world.

“Sean has left me with a very good team and my challenge is to leverage on that and make it even better. Under his leadership, the business in Japan has undergone a profound transformation.”

Conxicoeur hopes to deepen relationships with third-party distributors in Japan, who are so important for access to the retail and wealth management market. 

His previous experience with an HSBC affiliate company will have prepared him for the cultural shift. From 2000 to 2004, Conxicoeur ran a multi-boutique joint venture in Tokyo called Sinopia T&D Asset Management.

In early 2004 he moved to Hong Kong with HSBC, initially running the Sinopia business. He also had a spell as head of institutional business for the region before taking up his current role as head of global insurance coverage.

In spite of having worked in Japan previously, he is cautious on making any “grand statements” about the market: “Japan’s market has changed a lot, but in my previous roles with HSBC in Hong Kong I had many Japanese clients. Japan is also the second largest insurance market in the world, so I have some insights I can bring from my current job.”

Conxicoeur will report functionally to Pedro Bastos, HSBC GAM’s chief executive, Hong Kong and regional head of Asia Pacific, and locally to Kaber McLean, country head for HSBC Japan.

His successor has not yet been confirmed. An HSBC spokesman said an announcement would be made “very soon”.

Speaking on the appointment, Pedro Bastos commented, “With over 24 years of experience in the global asset management industry, including five years spent in Japan in a wide variety of roles, Patrice is the ideal choice to take the franchise forward in its next phase of growth.”

AsianInvestor’s research on the top asset managers by AUM shows HSBC GAM has $100 billion sourced from Asia Pacific. HSBC themselves would not divulge the proportion sourced from Japan.