Darby Overseas Investments, the private equity arm of Franklin Templeton Investments, has appointed David Hudson as senior managing director to lead Darby's Asia operations and its global infrastructure initiatives.

Hudson will be in charge of Darby's private equity and mezzanine investment activities in Asia. Currently Darby has three funds being managed by teams locally based in Hong Kong, Seoul and Mumbai. Hudson will also develop Darby's global infrastructure investment business. He will be based in Hong Kong after a brief rotation in the US and will start the job on May 1. He will report to Darby CEO Richard Frank who is based in Washington DC.

Hudson comes to Darby from ING Group where he was most recently president and chief executive officer, Americas for wholesale banking. Hudson has previous exposure heading businesses in the Asia-Pacific region. He earlier led operations for the continent at JPMorgan, where he began his career. From JPMorgan Hudson moved to Salomon Brothers and then to ING in 1996 and at both firms he was head of Asia-Pacific.

During his 30-year career in corporate and investment banking, Hudson has also worked in Latin America, the US and the Middle East in both corporate banking and investment banking.

"[HudsonÆs] deep experience both in Asia and in infrastructure investing around the world provides a unique opportunity to develop the Darby platform in these two critical and fast growing areas," says Frank.

In February 2007 Darby announced it was hiring Sean Wallace, who was then head of Asia-Pacific capital markets at JPMorgan, as senior managing director responsible for Asia-Pacific reporting to Frank. Wallace had been with JPMorgan almost nine years, initially in New York then in Hong Kong from 2001 onwards. He had also worked at Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns. But Wallace lasted on the buy-side only a year and moved back to the sell-side in March 2008, joining Standard Chartered as group head of corporate finance.

Hudson's portfolio includes Wallace's earlier role as well as a global infrastructure responsibility. This is probably intended to reflect the depth of experience he brings to the table across a number of regions.

Darby is a fully owned subsidiary of Franklin Resources, a global investment management organisation operating as Franklin Templeton Investments. The California-based company has more than 60 years of investment experience and over $591 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2008.

Darby was set up in 1994 by former US Treasury Secretary and Dillon Read & Co chairman Nicholas F. Brady, who still serves as its chairman. Frank is a former World Bank managing director and CFO of the International Finance Corporation.