Following the departure of chief executive Ian Tham Khean Hin, Malaysia's CMS Trust Management has promoted chief investment officer Philip Tan to the role of deputy CEO. He will retain his CIO duties.

Meanwhile, CMS Trust is keen to appoint a new CEO and is looking for a suitable candidate, says a company spokeswoman for the firm in Kuala Lumpur.

The firm has RM1.63 billion ($480 million) in assets under management, and Tan implements and enforces its 'growth manager' philosophy and investment process, she adds. 

Tham left CMS on February 1 to become chief executive of Kuala Lumpur-based KFH Asset Management, the Asia-Pacific fund-management platform of Kuwait Finance House. At CMS, Tham had been involved in the transfer of the joint venture to CMS Asset Management and the subsequent consolidation of its asset-management and unit-trust businesses as CMS Trust Management.

(Since its incorporation in 1994 and until May 2007, CMS Asset Management was a joint venture between CMS Capital and Allianz Global Investors. In May 2007, CMS Asset Management became wholly owned by CMS Capital. In 2008, CMS Trust Management and CMS Asset Management merged, with CMS Trust Management the name of the new entity.)

KFH AM says it views the asset-management business in Asia-Pacific as an important conduit for Middle Eastern investors to participate in the region's growth, as funds can be invested from India to China. This is in addition to enhancing its asset-accumulation and distribution network in Asia for investments globally. KFH AM's activities encompass private equity, alternative investments and unit trusts.

Tham's appointment follows the early-February return of Puan Jamelah Jamaluddin to Kuwait Finance House in Kuala Lumpur as CEO of the Malaysia operations. She was previously managing director at RHB Islamic Bank in the same city. Jamaluddin had formerly been deputy CEO at KFH and headed the corporate and investment banking division.

KFH was the first foreign Islamic bank to open its doors in Malaysia, on August 8, 2005, to provide sharia-based financial solutions. The firm set up a wealth-management solutions business with IT firm Firium Solutions and Islamic financial-planning consultant Amanie Business Solutions in early 2008. KFH received an Islamic fund-management licence from Malaysia's Securities Commission in July 2008.