Manulife Asset Management has continued the build-out of its regional investment team with the hire of a new head of fixed income in Singapore to replace Akira Okada. Pang Cheng Duan joins from UT Asset Management in Singapore, where he was chief investment officer.

Okada has moved to MFC Global Investment Management's Hong Kong office to take up a regional role managing the firm's general-account fixed-income strategies.

In addition to overseeing the fixed-income desk, Pang will lead the development of the company's external business, following the launch of its unit-trust platform in September. He will work alongside the company's equity professionals, Amy Low and Grace Ho.

Before moving to UT Asset Management, he spent almost eight years at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), most recently as head of the foreign exchange, liquidity and gold division. As such, he managed a team of currency-overlay and liquidity-provision portfolio managers across Singapore and London. He also served as lead portfolio manager in MAS's US bloc bond and Japan bond teams.

Pang has also spent time in Tokyo as the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation's (GIC) deputy representative. He was portfolio manager for the sovereign wealth fund's Asia division, managing yen, Australian dollar and New Zealand dollar, and Asian emerging-market fixed-income portfolios in local currencies.

Manulife AM hopes Pang's hire will help the firm build its presence in Singapore's third-party business, particularly on the institutional side, given his extensive experience managing large mandates for both GIC and MAS.

The firm manages fixed-income and equity funds for institutional and retail investors in Singapore. It is part of MFC Global Investment Management, which had over $2 billion in assets under management in Singapore as of December 31.