Industry veteran Chong Jin Leow has parted ways with BNY Mellon, where he served as head of its Asia asset servicing business.
His departure last week marks the latest major shuffle in the custodian bank’s regional asset servicing unit, following the surprise departure in November of Andrew Gordon, who has since joined rival RBC Investor Services.
A BNY Mellon spokeswoman confirmed to AsianInvestor that Leow had chosen to leave the firm "to pursue new opportunities" and noted that he was "instrumental in building a strong asset servicing team" in the region.
Leow, who is based in Singapore, declined to comment when contacted by AsianInvestor.
Following Gordon's departure, Rosemarie Kriesel, global client management for Hong Kong, took on the additional role of country head and general manager for Hong Kong in January, while it is understood that Leow assumed oversight of the alternative investment services (AIS) platform. Both areas had previously been under Gordon's domain.
Leow’s departure is said to be related to differences over the direction of the AIS platform in Asia, which provides fund administration services to alternatives managers, namely private equity and hedge funds.
BNY Mellon’s market share among hedge fund administrators in Asia, by AUM, was only 1.9% as of December, according to a Eurekahedge report released last month.
A HedgeFund Intelligence survey in June last year ranked BNY Mellon’s AIS in eighth place among the region’s service providers, with 20 hedge fund clients and $2 billion in assets under administration.
For the past year, industry executives have told AsianInvestor that amid an era of thinning margins, both fund administrators and prime brokers in the region have been evaluating their client lists, with some of the larger service providers selectively terminating their services agreements with smaller hedge funds that have less than $100 million in assets.
The issue as to whether AIS should take a similar action is said to have been one point of difference in the future direction of the platform.
Steve Lackey, BNY Mellon chairman for Asia-Pacific whom Leow reported to, will lead the asset servicing unit until a replacement is appointed, says the firm's spokeswoman. She adds that the firm will continue to invest and grow the business in Asia.
Leow, whose career in the Asian finance industry spans 30 years, had been with BNY Mellon since 2006. He joined from State Street in Singapore, where he oversaw its investor services business in Asia-Pacific, minus Japan and Australia. Leow has also worked with Deutsche Bank, Bankers Trust Company and Citi in various roles.