Northern Trust has promoted Hidehiro Nakayama to representative director and president of its global investments division in Japan.

He replaces Kunihiko Nakao, who retired on June 22 after nine years with the firm. Nakayama joined from Pictet Asset Management last August as executive managing director in Tokyo.

He will now focus on growing Northern Trust’s asset management business in Japan and has responsibility for sales, product development, client service and operational teams out of Tokyo.

He reports to Wayne Bowers, the firm’s asset management CEO for Europe, Middle East and Africa and for Asia-Pacific.

Bowers notes that the concerns of institutional investors centre on volatility, how political events affect market dynamics in Europe and the Middle East, as well as the forthcoming presidential election in the US and the potential for a fiscal cliff.

“Since Lehman Brothers collapsed, sophisticated investors have wanted more transparency and simplicity in how to execute market risk and I have not seen any change of that view going into the sovereign crisis, which we are not through yet,” he says.

On the equity side, he says there is greater desire for quality, including dividend plays and minimum volatility-type structures, both actively or passively constructed and managed.

From a fixed income perspective, he sees demand for sovereign risk management as well as credit exposure, notably US large-cap.

Northern Trust has been busily building a portfolio management and trading team in Hong Kong, primarily to enhance its global passive capability.

Bowers suggests it is now 80% through planning and execution, with its growth strategy for eight additions. “Our next stage now is to bed down both the process and the team,” he adds.

As AsianInvestor reported, the development of its Asia-Pacific portfolio management capabilities was being led by Patrick Dwyer, who transferred from Chicago last March. He has since returned to the US, with Ken Chuah now responsible as senior portfolio manager for Asia.

Its Asian dealing desk, which offers equity and derivatives trading largely for its in-house PMs on behalf of clients, is led by Craig Annakin, who joined in May last year from Deutsche Asset Management in Singapore.

Northern Trust had $716.5 billion in assets under management globally as at March 31 this year. By the end of 2011, it had $47.8 billion in Asia-Pacific-sourced assets, by AsianInvestor numbers.

AsianInvestor has previously reported that indexing represents around 43% of its overall AUM, and active fixed income strategies about 40%.