Maybank Asset Management has hired a new chief for its Indonesia business, as it embarks on an expansion drive.

The Malaysia-headquartered asset manager has also recruited a number of senior and junior staff in its Jakarta operation in a bid to boost its assets under management.

Maybank’s expansion is seen as reflecting its ambitions to become a key player in asset management in the Asean region within the next two years.

Denny Thaher has joined Maybank GMT Asset Management from Trimegah Asset Management. He joined in May as deputy president director and will take up the full president director post (the equivalent of CEO) when incumbent Marto Sutiono leaves the firm in August.

Maybank is understood to have hired Thaher because of his connections and experience, which it hopes will help grow the firm's AUM, which currently stands at $70 million. With more than 20 years of experience, Thaher has served as the chairman of the Association of Indonesian Mutual Fund Managers since March 2013.

He joined Trimegah Securities in June 2010. In January 2011, he was appointed as CEO of Trimegah Asset Management. Previously he held several senior positions in multinational, state-owned and domestic enterprises. Replacing Thaher at Trimegah AM is Antony Dirga, who previously held the title of commissioner.

Maybank entered the Indonesian market in 2013 by acquiring local player GMT Aset Manajemen as part of its regional expansion strategy. Its ambition is to become a key player in asset management in the Asean region by 2017. In addition to Malaysia and Indonesia, it has an on-the-ground presence in Singapore and Thailand, and a joint venture firm in the Philippines.

Sutiono, who was the head of GMT, became Maybank AM’s Indonesia chief after the acquisition. With more than 20 years of experience, Sutiono has familiarity with equity research and corporate finance, having worked in local securities companies. He also worked at Prasetio Utomo & Co, formerly an affiliate of Arthur Andersen. It cannot be ascertained what his next move will be after his departure from Maybank AM.

According to sources, Maybank AM in Indonesia has about 30 staff including four investment professionals headed by CIO Sindra Widjaja. More investment, marketing and operational staff will come on board in September. The new hires will include senior positions.

Calls to Maybank AM seeking more information were not returned. Calls and emails to Sutiono and Thaher were also not answered.