Senior moves at Principal Global Investors will introduce new leadership to the business in Asia. The group is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, where the person responsible for overseeing the firm's global affiliate and joint-venture relations, Barbara McKenzie, was promoted to COO. Hazel McNeilage will fill McKenzie's shoes. McNeilage is currently managing director for East Asia in Singapore, and she will be relocating to New York to run Principal's Asian and Latin American relationships.
"It's a large role that can't be done effectively from Singapore," she says, noting the long flight times to Latin America from this region. "It's a lot easier to get there from New York."
Her move is an opportunity to enhance the international experience of other managers, she says, and the firm is transferring Kirk West from Australia to Singapore to take the reins.
West, like McNeilage an Australian, had previously run the firm's London business before assuming the MD role in Australia. West has been a principal at the firm and its predecessor in Australia, BT, since 1988. He will assume the new role in January.
McNeilage adds that West's background is in sales and relationship management. "There is a lot of potential to further develop relationships with institutional investors in this region and Kirk is ideally suited for that," she says. West will work closely with James Sim, marketing director in Singapore.
Her new role will allow McNeilage to maintain a role in Asia. Principal Global launched a funds joint venture this summer with China Construction Bank in Shanghai. It also has fund JVs with CIMB in Malaysia and with two banks, PNB and Vijaya, in India. The group has a number of similar relationships throughout Latin America, including with that region's biggest bank, Banco do Brasil.