State Street Global Advisors’ new director for Asia-Pacific product development, Almis Povilaitis, has a mandate that includes building the firm’s business for actively managed strategies and the intermediary segment, both for institutional and retail segments.

Povilaitis has a dual role: product development and corporate strategy, specifically evaluating M&A opportunities for the business.

He says the two go together. SSgA is keen to develop businesses for various markets but this may involve acquisitions or partnerships, as much as organic growth. “Asia is only a growth story if you know how to position yourself,” he says.

The firm has always looked at M&A possibilities, but Povilaitis will provide a proactive, systematic approach to the region. Similarly, his appointment is meant to improve links between product-design teams and investment teams, so that new ideas are analysed and approved or discarded more quickly.

Povilaitis has been with State Street since 2000, starting in Boston as a trader at State Street Global Markets. His most recent role before moving to Hong Kong was in corporate strategy at SSgA, where he reported to Shawn Johnson, the head of the firm’s investment committee.

Now, based in Hong Kong, he reports jointly to Bernard Reilly, the firm’s Sydney-based managing director for Asia Pacific, and to Andrew Astley, head of global product development and product management.