Nikko AM adds four to global sales team

The Japanese fund house has hired from BNY Mellon, Citi and Invesco to fill newly created roles, as it seeks to build out its international business.
Nikko AM adds four to global sales team

Tokyo-based Nikko Asset Management has named a quartet of senior executives to newly created posts in its institutional sales and marketing team across Japan, the UK and the US.

Fred DeSerio has been appointed US head of sales in New York to focus on institutional investors in North America. He joined on January 30 from US fund hosue Invesco, where he was a managing director in a similar role. He has also worked for firms including Segal Advisors, insurer AIG and brokerage Smith Barney.

Previously DeSerio’s duties fell within the remit of his new boss, Takuya Koyama, global head of sales in Tokyo.

Nikko AM has also added a trio to its institutional marketing and proposition division, which acts as a link between product and institutional sales and is headed by Stefanie Drews.

Peter Knight joined on January 1 in Tokyo as head of global product specialists. He is tasked with helping articulate product messaging from an investment perspective. He most recently worked as a business development manager in Japanese equities at BNY Mellon in Tokyo, where he spent eight years in total. He previously worked for Citigroup Asset Management, also in Japan.

BNY Mellon declined to comment on whether Knight had been or would be replaced.

Meanwhile, Nikko AM named Daisuke Kono as head of international institutional materials on February 1. Based in Tokyo, he will specialise in creating materials for sophisticated international clients and prospects. He was previously a director of product management at Invesco.

Lastly, Cameron Kuwahara joined the company on February 2 as head of solutions marketing based in Edinburgh, Scotland, where Nikko AM has a global equity team. He will spend time in Edinburgh, the Europe headquarters in London and the New York office.

Kuwahara was previously a senior sales director at Citigroup Global Markets in Singapore. He also worked for Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Securities and Deutsche Securities Tokyo.

Invesco could not provide comment by press time on whether DeSerio or Kono had been or would be replaced.

Citigroup had not provided comment on Kuwahara's departure by press time.

A Nikko AM spokesperson said: “This is a part of the company’s strategy to strengthen our global institutional business, with the aim of increasing our AUM from professional investors.”

Nikko AM declined to provide a current breakdown of AUM between retail and institutional investors, but said that since 2011 the ratio has been consistent at about 60/40 retail to institutional. The firm also declined to give details of divisional headcounts.

The company’s overall AUM stood at Y17.5 trillion ($149 billion) as of end-September 2014.

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