Peter Michael Heng, the new chief investment officer at Singapore-based insurer NTUC Income, will shortly be joined by two new research staff and he plans to further expand the firm's research capability.

The new employees, whose appointments are being finalised, include one individual who will cover fixed income and another covering equity. Heng says NTUC will make further additions to its research team, both in equity and fixed income, as well as to its three-strong private equity team.

An area of particular importance is credit, he adds, given what's been happening in the markets in recent months.

Now reporting to NTUC chief executive Tan Suee Chieh, Heng was previously CIO for Singapore at Canadian firm Manulife Asset Management. He succeeded Liong Tong-kap in July, following the latter's retirement after 19 years with NTUC. Liong will stay on in an advisory role until the end of the year.

With 25 years of experience in the investment business, Heng has spent the past 12 specifically managing insurance assets. Before Manulife, he was with Singaporean insurance group Great Eastern for 10 years, where he built up the investment capability and set up Straits Lion Asset Management (now Lion Global) to manage the group's life fund investments.

NTUC is one of the four biggest Singaporean insurance companies, with around $20 billion in AUM. The company was set up in 1970 to provide insurance predominantly to blue-collar workers, although its business has evolved, as the Lion City's demographics have shifted.