Suraj Mishra has been promoted to CEO of Prudential Asset ManagementÆs Singapore business, but his new duties include spearheading the firmÆs development of a retail mutual-funds business in Hong Kong.

Mishra previously served as regional director of international funds, helping promote PrudentialÆs range of offshore products to Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. The Singapore CEO slot opened when MishraÆs predecessor, Kong Siew-Cheong, moved to a bigger role to run the parent companyÆs Prudential Services, a unit based in Kuala Lumpur that serves as the back office for the groupÆs insurance businesses.

As Singapore CEO, Mishra is responsible for the asset management companyÆs P&L in that market, and reports to regional CEO Ajay Srinivasan in Hong Kong. Mishra has also been tasked with launching the asset management business in the Middle East, and will oversee the opening of an office in Dubai.

In Hong Kong, Prudential already has a joint venture with Bank of China International, BoCI-Prudential, that was established to service the Mandatory Provident Fund schemes market, which launched in late 2000. Mishra says BoCI has decided to allow Prudential to pursue the cash retail market independently. The firm is now in the process of applying to the Securities and Futures Commission for a license to deal securities, which will then allow it to seek out distributors. The firm will also need to hire sales management professionals.

The fact that Hong Kong is a crowded market doesnÆt mean newcomers canÆt prosper, Mishra says, noting that Prudential Asset Management has worked its way up to become a leading player in markets such as India and Singapore despite intense competition. Prudential has synergies with the parent life company and regional relationships with key bank distributors that it can use to get a leg up in Hong KongÆs retail space, he says.

Mishra joined the organisation in 1998 as an official at Prudential ICICI Asset Management in India. As Singapore CEO he oversees a business with 147 staff on the ground that help manage S$32.2 billion ($20.4 billion) of assets.