France’s Axa Investment Managers has named Simon Flood as Asia-Pacific head as it seeks to accelerate its expansion in the region. He replaces Jean-Pierre Leoni, who will return to Paris to lead the firm’s client management group from September 1 in a newly created role.

Flood’s most recent role was as chief investment officer of Singapore-based Lion Global Investors, but he left the firm in June 2013. Chief executive Gerard Lee assumed the CIO post in addition to his existing responsibilities. Axa IM could not give details by press time of what Flood has been doing since in the past year.

He is due to take up the post in Hong Kong on August 1, reporting to Laurent Seyer, global head of Axa IM’s client group.

Axa IM said it is focusing on growing third-party assets through geographical expansion, client segmentation and further strengthening of its product offering. For example, last month it registered 20 new funds for retail sale across Hong Kong and Singapore and added a client service executive in the latter city.

Prior to Lion Global, he was executive director at Imprimatur Capital in Hong Kong for two years.

From 1990 to 2006, he held investment roles covering listed and equity markets at Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, including as head of Asia Pacific ex Japan.

A New Zealander, Flood spent 15 years in London, then five in Hong Kong before moving to Singapore in 2009.

Leoni will have spent nearly five years in Asia, having become head of Asia Pacific in late 2009, replacing Anthony Fasso, who is now with AMP Capital Investors. Leoni has been responsible for the development of the firm’s presence in Asia, including Australia. He joined Axa IM in 1998 as head of credit.

Axa had $765.6 billion in assets under management as of March 31. According to AsianInvestor data dated December, Asia Pacific comprised $32.8 billion of the firm’s then AUM.