UK-based asset manager Threadneedle has appointed a trio of sales directors this month to cover wholesale markets in Asia as it continues its regional expansion drive.

The firm has hired Gerard Clancy (Asia-Pacific), Richmond Herrera (Southeast Asia, pictured left), both based in Singapore, and Kent Ng (Hong Kong and China), based in Hong Kong, to work with Asian financial institutions and global private banks in the region.

The trio report to Michael Langlois, head of wholesale distribution for Asia-Pacific, who was hired from Permal Group and started on January 1 this year. He described it as “a significant step forward for us as we build our strategy and capabilities for wholesale markets across Asia”.

All three new hires have previously worked for Merrill Lynch, continuing Threadneedle’s recent record under Raymundo Yu. Yu came out of retirement to become the firm’s Asia-Pacific chairman, having previously served as regional chairman at Merrill Lynch. He has been bolstering the Threadneedle team, in many cases with ex-Merrill staff.

Clancy previously worked for BlackRock, where he was director of sales with responsibility for strategy execution and wholesaling of investment management products to private banks, retail banks and IFAs in Asia ex-Japan.

Before the merger of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers and BlackRock he held a variety of sales and management positions with Merrill Lynch in New York, London, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Herrera previously worked for Standard Chartered Bank where he was responsible for developing the Philippines’ offshore private banking business. Prior to that he was director of investments and private wealth management at Merrill Lynch International in Singapore. He joined Merrill from Citibank in 2006.

Ng (pictured right) is a senior relationship manager who had been with Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management for 11 years, where he was market manager covering Hong Kong and supervised a team of over 60 private wealth managers.

Earlier this month, Threadneedle announced the appointment of Junji Okabayashi as senior adviser based in its Singapore office. He is working closely with Yu and will focus on the Japanese market.

Between 2006 and 2009, Okabayashi was CEO of Mitsubishi UFJ Merrill Lynch PB Securities, a joint-venture private banking business that offers investment and financial services to high-net-worth Japanese clients and small and medium-size organisations. He was also vice-chairman of Merrill Lynch Japan Securities from 2001 to 2006.