Another day, another fund house reorganises its sales team in Asia. This time it’s the turn of Schroder Investment Management following the departure of Terence Bong earlier this month.
Having spent a decade with the UK firm, he was Singapore-based head of private bank distribution for Asia. Albert Tse absorbs Bong’s responsibilities as part of his remit as head of intermediary distribution for Southeast Asia.
Another recent departure was Louis Sze, who was Hong Kong-based vice president of intermediary business development. Schroders is seeking a replacement.
AsianInvestor could not ascertain where the two will be going.
A Schroders spokeswoman said dedicated roles for private banking are not being eliminated, as teams dedicated to the segment continue to report to Tse.
Lieven Debruyne, head of intermediary business for Asia Pacific, told AsianInvestor: “Private banks are a very substantial part of our overall business in Asia. By aligning the sales and servicing coverage of international private banks under the team led by Albert, we believe that we will be able to deliver better service to our clients.”
Like other asset managers, Schroders is moving to boost its sales to private banks in the region, say industry observers. BlackRock, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, JP Morgan Asset Management, State Street Global Advisors and T. Rowe Price are recent examples of firms to have made changes on this front.
This trend has been some time in coming in Asia, note fund selectors at private banks. They say that even some of the most well established asset managers in the region have needed to up their game when it comes to servicing the wealth management segment.
Fund houses are looking to cash in on growing demand for mutual funds in recent years from private banking clients looking for simpler products.
BlackRock this month created the role of regional head of private bank business and hired Kueh Tan-Yuan from UBS Securities to fill it.
GSAM in March named Jessica Jones as its first Asia head of third-party distribution and has been adding others to her team, with a particular focus on building its private bank business.
T. Rowe Price poached Scott Keller from UBS Global AM for a new role to strengthen its funds distribution. And JP Morgan AM and SSgA both named their first heads of intermediary business for Asia in recent months.