Manulife Asset Management has appointed Shirley Lam to be Asia head of wealth, affiliate wealth, and asset management.

The role has been created following the recent integration of the firm’s wealth and asset management businesses in Asia, which has brought together institutional investment management and retail distribution.

Lam’s appointment takes effect today (September 1) and is an addition to her current position as head of North Asia business.

In the newly-created role, Lam will lead the distribution activities of Manulife AM’s Asia wealth solutions through tied distribution channels. The channels comprise Manulife’s direct distribution network and an affiliated agency sales force numbering nearly 60,000.

She will also lead the regional portfolio and investment advisory function, which provides distribution support and product training to Manulife’s sales agents.

Lam will continue to report to Michael Dommermuth, executive vice-president and head of wealth and asset management for Asia.

Dommermuth said of Lam's new role: “Through our in-house distribution affiliate, Shirley and her team will facilitate offering clients’ multi-format wealth management solutions that span insurance-based wealth solutions, defined contribution pensions and mutual funds on platforms throughout the 10 territories in the region where we operate.”  These include Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines as well as China through Manulife TEDA, its joint-venture asset management business.

Manulife has an affiliated agency team in 10 markets in Asia, while Manulife Asset Management has a direct sales team in Taiwan, Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand.

Lam has worked at Manulife for nearly a decade and has been a primary shareholder representative for Manulife TEDA.

Prior to working at Manulife AM, Lam had worked with international investment banks, an accounting firm and a provincial pension board in Asia and Canada, where she oversaw custody business sales and held senior positions in global fund client-relationship management, new business development and accountancy. She has had wide exposure to the financial services industry in Hong Kong and Canada, including managing back-office operations, front-line sales and relationship management.

Manulife Asset Management also recently appointed Bruno Lee as head of intermediary sales for Asia.