Macquarie Investment Management (MIM) has appointed Axel Maier from Wellington Management as its new head of Asian distribution.

Based in Hong Kong, he started at the $220 billion manager – part of Macquarie’s funds group –as a managing director last week.

He leads a team of seven to distribute the firm’s capabilities in the region, with MIM’s global head Ben Bruck confirming it wants to shift distribution focus to institutional investors in Asia.

Just under half of MIM’s assets are held by institutional investors globally, with insurance taking the lion’s share of the remainder, followed by retail. Of its $220 billion under management, Australia accounts for 20%.

MIM follows an independent boutique approach. Its capabilities include listed global infrastructure, global emerging market equity, global equity, global and US credit and global bonds.

Maier comes in to replace Macquarie veteran Damon Hambly, who joined the firm in 1990 and most recently served as head of investment solutions and sales for Asia until his exit in January this year.

The following month Hambly joined Natixis Global Asset Management as its head of strategy and business planning for Asia, based in Hong Kong.

Prior to joining Macquarie, Maier worked for the $651 billion Wellington Management, which delivers equity, fixed income and multi-strategy.

There he variously had responsibility for institutional distribution in Southeast Asia, Korea and the Middle East based out of Singapore, and more recently continental Europe, based out of London.

He has also worked at Baring Asset Management, BNP Paribas Investment Management and Dresdner Asset Management.