Schroder Investment Management has appointed Vincent Chan as its first Asia head of multi-asset product strategy, reflecting the continued demand for asset-allocation expertise. 

He joins the UK firm from Singapore-based insurer NTUC Income, where he was head of asset allocation but which could not be reached for comment by press time. Before that he held senior positions at Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, conducting economic and capital market research and developing asset allocation frameworks.

Chan will initially focus on designing multi-asset solutions for clients in Singapore and Southeast Asia, as well as representing existing multi-asset strategies with clients across the region. He reports to Garth Taljard, Asia head of multi-asset product.

Demand has grown in the region for multi-asset strategies in the past few years, with a growing number of firms, such as Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Manulife Asset Management, hiring asset allocation talent globally and in Asia. This trend seems to reflect investors’ realisation of the importance of diversification by both geography and asset class.

BNP Paribas Investment Partners’ Hong Kong CEO, Tino Moorrees, in November said multi-asset products were one of its fastest-growing areas of business, as reported. And French firm Axa Investment Managers bolstered its multi-asset dealing hub in Asia late late last year. 

Some asset owners have been making similar moves or outsourcing such investments to the rising number of fund houses offering these capabilities. For instance, Thailand’s Government Pension Fund awarded its first multi-asset mandate in mid-2014. 

There are those, however, who see the multi-asset trend as threatening the traditional institutional investment approach of setting a multi-year strategic allocation, as asset-allocation strategies now tend to be driven by short-term concerns about volatility.