Standard Life Investments (Asia) has filled the gap left following the departure of former chief executive officer Kevin Smith by bringing in Michael Reed from Franklin Templeton to take on the role as CEO. Effective April, Reed will be expected to drive a business that currently manages around $3.45 billion of assets.

Reed takes over the role from James Aird, who was appointed acting chief executive officer in January 2005 following the departure of Kevin Smith, the then CEO who left the firm for a senior position with ABN AMRO in London. Upon Reed's ascension to the role, Aird will return to Edinburgh as head of business development and marketing. He will also retain the title of director of Standard Life Investments (Asia).

Reed held a variety of positions at Franklin Templeton since he joined in 1996. Most recently, he was the regional head of Templeton Australia. He has also been chief representative of its Japan rep office, chief representative of its Korea rep office and a Hong Kong-based MD.

Before beginning his lengthy stretch at Templeton, Reed was also the general manager for Bentley Reid & Co (Hong Kong and Tokyo).

"This high profile appointment underlines our long-term commitment to the Asian market and our belief in its potential," comments Keith Skeoch, chief executive, Standard Life Investments. "There are significant business opportunities with the distribution of our offshore funds in Korea and Taiwan. Other products like private equity, institutional products, money market funds and liability driven investment solutions are all also suited to the market place."