A raft of Hong Kong-based senior executives, including several division heads, are understood to have left French asset manager Amundi in the past month, in the wake of its merger with Pioneer Investments this year.

The moves come after the newly combined group, with €1.28 trillion ($1.51 trillion) under management, told AsianInvestor last month that it would be making cuts to its headcount and product range in Asia as part of a global reorganisation.

Ada Mak, the former Asia head of institutional business, saw her regulatory licences with Amundi cease on October 31 after a decade with the firm, including predecessor company Credit Agricole Asset Management. Before that she had worked for rival fund house Wellington.

Michelle Liu

Michelle Liu is thought to be leaving her post as Amundi's head of China, although her Securities and Futures Commission licences are still in force. She took up the role in June 2016, before which she had served as chief executive of PICC Investment Management (Hong Kong).

Moreover, Mounia El Kettani, former head of North Asia institutional marketing, saw her licences end this week (on November 15) after 10 years with Amundi.

Investment staff departures

Two Hong Kong-based investment professionals have also moved on.

Stephen Ma, formerly lead portfolio manager for Asia ex-Japan equities, saw his licences cease on November 15. He had joined Amundi in September last year from BMO Global Asset Management, having also worked for Fidelity Investments.

Mounia El Kettani

Kenrick Leung, former portfolio manager for Greater China equities, had been with the firm since May 2012 and his licences came to an end on October 31. Before joining Amundi, he had worked at FrontPoint Partners Asia, Sofaer Global Research (Hong Kong), Rothschild Asset Management Hong Kong and US Trust Company of New York.

AsianInvestor could not ascertain whether any of the five individuals have other jobs lined up.

Amundi declined to confirm or comment on any of the departures.

Global reorganisation

The firm had told AsianInvestor that it was revamping its Asian operations, after it completed the acquisition of Pioneer in July.

Vincent Mortier, Amundi’s deputy chief investment officer and Asia ex-Japan supervisor, said the firm was restructuring its Singapore and Hong Kong investment teams to focus on multi-asset and emerging-market strategies.

He said at the time that fewer than 5% of Amundi’s 1,398 Asia-based employees (including those working in local joint ventures) would be affected—that is, fewer than 70. Amundi declined to reveal how many investment professionals it employs in the region.

Pioneer has a 50-member team in Asia, including a 30-strong retail distribution team in Taiwan. Mortier had said no changes would be made to the Taiwan team but did not elaborate on the fate of the employees elsewhere in the region. Pioneer does not have any portfolio managers based in Asia.

Amundi is one of several fund houses to have embarked on a consolidation in the past two years, as active manager profits and assets under management come under pressure from falling client margins and the rise of passively managed investments.

Other recent deals include the mergers of Standard Life with Aberdeen Asset ManagementJanus Capital with Henderson Global Investors and Natixis Global AM's acquisition of a stake in Australian firm Investors Mutual.

This story includes reporting carried out by Indira Vergis.