Standard Chartered Bank has laid off its Asia head of insurance coverage, amid a paring and reshuffle of several senior executives, most notably in the research team.

Trevor Persaud had been responsible for the UK firm's corporate and institutional banking relationships with insurers in the region, both multinationals and domestics. He advised clients on investment, risk management and business strategy, among other things.

Persaud left StanChart in late November and has returned to investment consulting while considering longer-term opportunities, said a source who knows him. He declined to comment when contacted by AsianInvestor.

A veteran of the investment industry—having worked for Prudential Asset Management, Russell Investments and Schroders, among others—Persaud had spent two-and-half-years at StanChart.

Trevor Persaud

His responsibilities there have been absorbed by his former colleagues, said a spokeswoman. Robert Garwood remains London-based global head of investors and insurance in StanChart's financial institutions division.

The move comes at a time of upheaval among Asian insurers, with many rethinking asset allocations in light of the low-return environment, even as new capital-adequacy rules are coming in that will make it more costly to hold risk assets.

A growing need both to improve performance and achieve greater cost-efficiencies is leading some firms to revamp their investment and/or operational setups.

AIA, Prudential and NTUC Income are just three recent examples. AIA has been building a regional investment hub in Singapore, Prudential has installed new chief investment officers in all its major markets in Asia, while Singapore’s NTUC Income is handing investment of its portfolio to local firm Fullerton Fund Management, as first reported by AsianInvestor.

Meanwhile, other recent departures from StanChart include David Murray, former head of global research based in Singapore; Marios Maratheftis, former chief economist based in Dubai; and Raghavan Rajagopalan, former global head of structuring, who has been replaced by Jonathan Donne.

Before joining the bank, Persaud had been a managing partner in Singapore at Stradegi Consulting, which advises the asset management industry. He also worked at Russell Investments for around four years, including as Singapore chief executive and managing director for Asean and Taiwan. He has held roles overseeing risk and performance at Prudential Asset Management Singapore, Insight Investment and Schroders.

Persaud remains an executive committee adviser to the Investment Management Association of Singapore and chairs its risk and performance committee.