In a vote of confidence for its regional transition management business, Russell Investments has named John Moore as the new Asia-Pacific executive director of Russell Investment Services (RIS), the most senior RIS post in the region.

"RIS created the Asia-Pacific executive director position to help continue grow and maintain the business in the region," says Moore.

He relocates to Tokyo, where he is responsible for building and developing the RIS business in Asia-Pacific, especially Japan. Sally Corbett, newly promoted from portfolio transition manager to manager of RIS for Australia and New Zealand, reports to Moore. RIS is also hiring two new portfolio managers, one in Sydney and one in Tokyo.

RIS's services include transition management, currency hedging, emulation portfolio management, agency foreign exchange and exposure management.

The transition manager is hoping to capture transitions in Japan's mature pension fund market. "Japan is the second largest pension fund market in the world," says Moore. "The current market structure and upcoming changes over the next two years, combined with the expansion of our implementation services in the region, are presenting many exciting opportunities."

Asked why RIS does not have an Asia ex-Japan manager, Moore says there is always the potential to add the position, but for now the market in these countries is not mature enough to warrant it, although Russell is in talks with asset owners throughout the region.

Moore himself is responsible for RIS's growth in Asia-Pacific. Appointed senior portfolio manager in Sydney in 2006, he relocated from the US to expand RIS's business in Asia with on-the-ground support.

"John has done a tremendous job of building the RIS business in Australia from a small base to a significant and highly valued offering for clients," says David Rothenberg, managing director for business growth and development at RIS. "With the growing regional demand, John will have the opportunity to apply his skills across Australia and the entire Asia-Pacific region."

Other transition managers have also expanded in the region this year. In August, Mellon Transition Management appointed Keith Griffiths as Australia director, the first director-level position at the firm in the region. At the start of the year, Richard Surrency joined Morgan Stanley as Asia-Pacific head of transition management.

Tacoma, Washington-based Russell had $151 billion in assets under management globally at the end of June.