Nikko Asset Management has bolstered its investment team in Singapore by hiring Ng Soo-Nam as chief investment officer, responsible for developing the groupÆs investment capability in Asia ex-Japan. Yesterday, 1 August, was his first day at his new job.

The firm poached Ng from the Singapore office of MiraeAsset Global Investment Management, the Korean fund house that has aggressively expanded outside its own borders in the past few years. Ng had helped found MiraeÆs Singapore office in 2004 and led its investment team for Asia ex-Japan/Korea. He got his start as an investment analyst at Schroder Investment Managers in 1995, rising to become a director of fund management. He has also worked for the Singapore government in a variety of economic policy roles.

Until now, NikkoÆs Singapore investment team had been run by Samantha Teo, who will stay with the firm as Singapore portfolio manager.

Roger Lee, president of Nikko AM Singapore, says the addition of Ng will allow the firm to increase its range of Asian investment products. He will run portfolios directly but more importantly will drive the team and give guidance in areas such as portfolio construction and Asia investment strategy.

Ng will report locally to Lee and functionally to Bill Wilder, Tokyo-based CIO of Nikko AM.

Officials at Mirae in Seoul say they will not need to hire a new CIO to replace Ng. Bernard Lim, a portfolio manager at its Singapore office, will assume some of NgÆs duties. A few months ago, the firm hired a new regional CIO in Hong Kong, Wilfred Sit, formerly a manager at Invesco.