Jon Robinson has resigned his post as managing director at Watson Wyatt in Singapore, leaving the post in the hands of Kwan Chee-wei, whom he had hired two years ago and trained to replace him.
Despite the smooth transition, his departure will no doubt be felt by the firm, as he is an experienced player in Singapore's pensions and investment management industries. Robinson was one of a handful of members picked from industry to work on asset management and pension issues in the high-profile Economic Review Committee established by Goh Tok-chong, prime minister.
Watson Wyatt also has the most appealing business in Singaporean investment consulting as it advises most of the large statutory boards and government-linked corporations on asset allocation and management selection.
Going forward, he says he hopes to remain involved in developing the ERC's recommendation of reforming the Central Provident Fund to allow low-cost pension schemes. He is considering joining organizations on the asset management side.
Robinson has been with Watson Wyatt for 10 years, as well as 10 with William M. Mercer. The past five years have been in Singapore, but he has also completed five-year stints in Jakarta and Hong Kong, as well as service in Australia and the UK.
Fund managers in Singapore say Robinson left because he was unable to get the firm's top investment consulting job in Hong Kong vacated by Grahame Stott, who retired as regional director in Hong Kong earlier this year.
Robinson's take is: "I agreed that there were no suitable opportunities that allowed me to remain Singapore-based. The parting was extremely amicable."