Bo Kratz has joined US asset management and servicing group Northern Trust as managing director for AM in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan.

Based in Hong Kong, he will lead a team managing $50 billion in assets for clients including sovereign wealth funds, government entities, pensions and corporations in the region.

Kratz's last role was as Singapore-based head of Asia for US alternative investment firm Permal, overseeing the group’s offices in Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo.

He left Permal in January 2011 and is said to have been pursuing other interests since then. He was not replaced, with the country heads assuming greater autonomy and reporting to Roberto Giuffrida, head of global sales.

Kratz replaces Kevin Hardy at Northern Trust, who left after almost nine years with the firm, most recently as Asia-Pacific head of global investments and country head for Hong Kong. Hardy now heads BlackRock's Asia-Pacific index equity team.

Kratz reports functionally to Wayne Bowers, London-based chief executive of asset management for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific, and locally to Teresa Parker, Asia-Pacific CEO.

The regional AM team covers global equity index portfolio management and global equity dealing from Hong Kong, as well as investment strategy, relationship management and sales teams in Hong Kong, Beijing and Singapore.

Bowers cites Kratz’s background in multi-manager investments and developing customised solutions for sovereign and government entities in the region as a “perfect fit for Northern Trust’s current and prospective investment relationships in Asia”.

Large, sophisticated investors are increasingly looking for customised market exposures and enhanced income, adds Parker.

Before working for Permal, Kratz held a number of senior and regional roles at ABN Amro Asset Management in Asia, including running the sales, product and marketing efforts.

A native of Sweden, Kratz has also worked as a financial analyst, head of research, portfolio manager and chief investment officer at Alfred Berg Asset Management and H. Lunden Fondkommission in Stockholm.

Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing global region for Northern Trust, with its regional AUM growing by 157% from 2007 to 2011, while its assets under custody have seen an annual growth rate of 9% over the same period.

As of September 30, the group had assets under custody of $4.8 trillion and assets under management of $749.7 billion globally.