South Asia head to exit Russell Investments

The US firm’s CEO for Asean, Hong Kong, Taiwan and India is leaving for pastures as yet unknown to AsianInvestor.
South Asia head to exit Russell Investments

Mahendran Nathan is set to leave his post as chief executive for Asean, Hong Kong, Taiwan and India at Russell Investments after two-and-a-half years, although AsianInvestor could not ascertain his next move by press time.

Trevor Persaud, Russell’s managing director for Asean and Taiwan, will replace him, says a source at the firm. It has been going through the regulatory necessities and is now at the end of that process. Nathan could not be reached for comment by press time.

Persaud joined the firm in Singapore in March last year as practice leader for consulting and advisory services for Asean, Hong Kong, Taiwan and India, reporting to Nathan. He previously worked for Prudential Asset Management, where he led the development and implementation of a regional framework for the oversight of the firm’s investments.

Nathan is not the only recent departure from Russell, with Alex Kim having left to join Aberdeen Asset Management to run business development for Korea.

Nathan joined Russell in January 2010, having previously run Wealth Management Asia, a boutique consultancy he founded in 2005. Before that, he was CEO for Asia ex-Japan and Australia at Société Générale Asset Management and prior to that business development head at Deutsche Asset Management in Singapore.

His appointment at Russell came as the firm split its Asia-Pacific business into three sub-regions, with Nathan leading the South Asia business. Russell had previously divided its business in the region between Asia and Australia/New Zealand.

Tokyo-based Bruce Pflaum remains Asia CEO, while Chris Corneil remains head of Australia and New Zealand. All three sub-regions report to Asia-Pacific chairman Alan Schoenheimer, who is based in London.

In addition to its traditional asset management business, Russell has a multi-manager offering (with a new China fund about to launch), consulting services, transition management and an index platform.

The firm had $155 billion in assets under management as of March 31, of which $14.4 billion was sourced from Asia-Pacific, as of September 2011.

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