Prudential Property Investment Management (PruPim) Asia has appointed Jean-Brice Traon as its first fund controller.

In his new position, Singapore-based Traon will oversee the operations and reporting on a range of PruPim Asia funds. Countries under his control include Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam. Traon reports to PruPim Asia CEO Alex Hambly.

"As the fund controller for all of PruPim Asia's funds, Jean-Brice brings invaluable experience to his new role having worked for several years in Luxembourg managing real estate investment funds," says Hambly. "This appointment is an important step in strengthening PruPim Asia's capabilities to manage and distribute property investment-related funds."

As fund controller, Traon plans to strengthen the relationship between the PruPim Asia and LaSalle Investment Management teams. In February 2007, the firms announced the joint Asia Property Fund, an open-ended pan-Asia Pacific fund. Commenting on relations between the two teams, he tells AsianInvestor that they have not necessarily been bad but that he wants to integrate them further.

On why PruPim Asia decided to add a fund controller position now and not sooner, Traon says his role was previously covered by PruPim Asia's former CFO, H Shriram, but only for Asia property funds. Shriram left the company at the end of last year and the position has since been changed. The current head of treasury and financial controller is Ramesh Shanbhag.

"The decision to bring European property funds to Asia prompted the need to add the fund controller role," Traon says.

The decision to add European property funds to PruPim Asia's portfolio was made last December.

Traon joined PruPim Asia in January, relocating to Singapore after almost a year at M&G Investments in Luxembourg. At M&G he served as financial controller for an open-ended, pan-European property fund. M&G is an independent business unit within the Prudential Group since its acquisition by the group in 1999.

Prior to joining M&G, Traon worked for JP Morgan as an operations controller covering real estate investment and has experience in consulting and auditing in both Asia and Europe.

Commenting on his relocation to Singapore, Traon says the decision to relocate was easy because he had spent time in the region before.

PruPim Asia manages over $2 billion in funds and commitments in Asia-Pacific. The firm is a joint venture between London-based PruPim and Hong Kong-based Prudential Corporation Asia.