Douglas Eu, former head of JF Asset Management, is joining Allianz Global Investors (AllianzGI), according to market sources. AllianzGI is expected to announce the appointment next week.

AllianzGI worldwide manages over Ç1 trillion ($1.3 trillion), making it one of the biggest asset managers. It divides equity and fixed income between its RCM and Pimco brands, respectively. AllianzAG also has other arms providing specialised investment strategies, including Nicholas Applegate, Oppenheimer Capital, NFJ Investment Group and Allianz Hedge Fund Partners.

Someone of EuÆs stature is expected to take on a very senior role but that has not been made public. Although some believe he is to work in Asia, one source says Eu is actually headed to California, to take a senior position in the RCM business.

Other sources think the organisation will restructure in Asia to accommodate him and raise the RCM profile. In Asia Pacific, Bruce Kho is regional CEO, while Mark Konyn is Hong Kong CEO but in practice has a regional briefing.

Pimco Asia ex-Japan is run by Brian Baker in Hong Kong, while Douglas Hodges oversees the Japan business. Sources believe the Pimco business may not be directly affected, as it is run along more independent lines, and because EuÆs background is in equities.

AllianzGI executives declined to comment or confirm the appointment, and Eu could not be reached.

Regardless of the new structure to be revealed, it is a big move in the regionÆs asset management business. Eu is a high-profile figure at one of the most historic asset managers in Asia (JFAM is now a unit of JPMorgan), while AllianzGI has built a large franchise across the region, both retail and institutional.

AllianzGI has a joint venture in China with Guotai Junan Securities, a wholly owned unit in Korea, and its own investment trust consulting company and manufacturer in Taiwan.

As managing director, Eu oversaw JFAMÆs entire regional business, and most recently presided over Hong KongÆs first retail fund dedicated to Chinese A shares. He also mserves as vice chairman of the Hong Kong Investment Funds Association, having also served as treasurer and chairman of the sub-committee on unit trusts from 2003-05.

He joined JF in 1987 as a Hong Kong equity analyst and in 1991 became an investment manager for Greater China equities. He left the firm in July of this year. JFAM is still in the process of recruiting a replacement.