Legal & General Investment Management, a UK-based firm with £383 billion ($600 billion) in assets as of March 31, is establishing a presence in Asia by opening an office in Hong Kong, as previously indicated by AsianInvestor.
The office will officially open in August, but securities dealing or investment advisory licences remain pending from the Securities and Futures Commission.
L&G has hired Alan Flynn and Richard Surrency to serve as the responsible officers for the new business, according to multiple sources.
Flynn joins from Mercer, where he had worked in Hong Kong for about seven years, first as director of North Asia and then as head of investment consulting for Asia ex-Japan. He is said to have left Mercer recently, in mid-July.
Singapore-based Surrency stepped down from Morgan Stanley in March, where he had headed regional transition management within the broker’s equities business. He joined Morgan Stanley in early 2009 from BNY Mellon, where he had been head of sales for custody and related services.
L&G has capabilities in equities, fixed income, property and liquidity management. It has expertise in index and asset-allocation products (its parent, insurer L&G Group, manages £232 billion ($364 billion) of index-tracking investments in the UK), and is a large provider of liability-driven investments, multi-asset and other tailored ideas for pension funds in the UK.
That background seems to fit with Flynn’s experience with multi-manager portfolios, an area of expertise for Mercer, and with Surrency’s work on index rebalancing and transitions.
For now, L&G’s Hong Kong operation appears to be focused on winning client business, probably in the form of segregated accounts for Asian institutional investors using products managed out of London.
Flynn will serve as regional head for compliance and regulatory purposes, while Surrency will serve as head of sales and distribution. Whether other hires are planned could not be determined. They report to Mike Craston, head of international business in London.
A spokesman for L&G IM based in London said that Craston was away on holiday and unavailable for interview at press time.
He added: "We are not in a position to make any comment at this moment. We have said we are looking at opening an Asian office. We are now going through various processes with regulators."
L&G IM’s parent, Legal & General Group, has existing businesses in the region, including life-insurance joint ventures in India and Bahrain, both established in 2009 with a focus on bancassurance; and a rep office but no licence in Shanghai.