Privately held Swiss bank Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch has bolstered its institutional sales team in Asia-Pacific with a trio of hires as it sets out to double its regional assets under management.

The firm has recruited Sheau-Yien Wang from State Street Global Advisers Singapore to head key institutional client relationships in Southeast Asia, and Joanna Wong from AllianceBernstein to develop third-party distribution in Asia. Both are based in Singapore.

Furthermore, it has added Hyoung Nam Kim from Goldman Sachs Asset Management as its new business development director for Korea. He is based out of Hong Kong.

The trio report to Emmanuel Roulin, Lombard Odier’s head of institutional business development for Asia-Pacific, based in Hong Kong.

Only this March Lombard Odier hired asset management specialist Vincent Duhamel as its first Asia head and he has prioritised building up the commercial side of the business.

In an interview in June, he revealed that the firm had minimal third-party distribution capabilities, and said he was looking to hire up to eight institutional sales staff to cover Japan, Greater China, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia before the end of this year.

The firm added Soloman Chang from Man Group in June to cover sales support and client servicing in Hong Kong, AsianInvestor can confirm, and yesterday Duhamel said he would likely have two or three institutional sales staff on board in Japan before the end of this year.

He added the firm would probably be seeking to boost its third-party sales team to cover Hong Kong and mainland China.

On the investments side, he said he was close to hiring a CIO, after which the focus turns to bringing in a long-short equities team, credit and currency analysts.

At present Lombard Odier has around eight personnel covering discretionary portfolio management and advisory across Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo.

Asked about the state of the hiring markets in today’s environment, Duhamel said: “It is becoming less static now than it was in June, and we have started to see some movement.

“The overall environment for financial institutions is not very attractive, and the reality is that asset managers, especially those tied to large groups, are experiencing difficulties and starting to cut costs. That is leading to departures, both forced and voluntary.”

Returning to the newly hired trio, Wang spent over 10 years at SSgA in Singapore, where she was managing director and head of sales for Asia ex-Japan, while Wong worked for AllianceBernstein for 12 years covering sales and distribution.

SSgA confirmed Wang left in March. It has not filled the vacancy she created yet but is considering hiring for the role next year. It added that Janice Wu had taken over as managing director of SSgA's Singapore office after recently relocating from Hong Kong. She reports to Bernard Reilly, head of SSgA Asia-Pacific, and she also continues as head of relationship management Asia ex-Japan.

AllianceBernstein noted that Wong had been vice-president in its strategic initiatives unit and said her responsibilities would now be shared by existing colleagues in the region following her departure last month.

Kim most recently worked as executive director of institutional sales for Goldman Sachs Asset Management in Seoul. A spokesman for GSAM said Kim resigned last month, and added that the firm had already hired Tae Kim as head of sales, covering institutional and third-party distribution.

Lombard Odier manages $158 billion in assets, of which $7 billion, or 4.4%, comes from Asian clients. Institutional business accounts for about a quarter of its global AUM, or $40 billion. Duhamel has pledged to double its Asia AUM to $14 billion within five years.