Pictet Asset Management has hired Lawrence Tse from Allianz Global Investors in a new role as head of retail and wholesale distribution for Asia (ex-Taiwan), based in Hong Kong.

Tse has been brought in to strengthen the firm's distribution initiatives in the region, specifically to support development of a global/domestic distribution partnerships network in Hong Kong and Singapore. He reports to Amy Cho, head of business development for Asia-Pacific.

Cho herself had been fulfilling this role. "I used to head up this [distribution] unit myself," she tells AsianInvestor, "so this is not a replacement, but a senior addition to the team that I have very much desired."

Asked why Tse's responsibilities exclude Taiwan, she points out that Pictet AM is still in the process of establishing a local presence on the island: the Pictet Sice (Taiwan).

Cho confirms she has completed hiring for this Sice team and that they are undergoing internal training and orientation as Pictet works on the Sice establishment application. Operations are expected to commence before the end of this year. "The premises have been identified and the logistics set-up and decoration has almost been completed," she adds.

The Sice team will be led by another senior hire (yet to be named) who will be general manager of the office once it has been set up.

Cho is supported by a regional distribution team of seven. When she joined the firm in April 2006 she was the only person in the team, and she now leads 13 in distribution, institutional sales, marketing, product management and compliance.

AsianInvestor understands that Pictet AM is still searching for a senior professional to focus on China business development to further the firm's institutional marketing efforts in mainland China.

Cho, whom AsianInvestor recently named among the 25 most influential women in asset management, praises Tse for “in-depth knowledge of the industry and a clear understanding of the diversity and potential of the region”.

Most recently he was chief marketing officer at Allianz Global Investors, where he was responsible for retail sales in Hong Kong as well as taking care of the marketing department.

Allianz confirmed it has hired Jenny Yu from Invesco as head of retail sales Hong Kong. She joined the firm yesterday and is Tse’s replacement, but without the marketing responsibilities. A spokesperson for Invesco did not respond to enquiries on Yu’s replacement by press time.

Tse has almost 15 years of industry experience. At Allianz he ran business development, marketing and client relationship management and led various cross-border distribution relationships from Hong Kong. Prior to that he worked for Schroder Investment Management and AXA China, having spent the first eight years of his career with Fidelity International.

Pictet Asset Management had $133.3 billion in assets globally as of March 31 this year in equity and bond markets worldwide. It had $18.6 billion in assets sourced from Asia-Pacific at the end of last year, by AsianInvestor figures. It has over 100 funds and 11 asset management centres globally.