UBS Asset Management has appointed Rob Worthington as Asia-Pacific head of investment solutions specialists to strengthen its multi-asset capabilities, AsianInvestor can reveal.

He joined the Swiss fund house in Hong Kong on July 19 from JP Morgan Asset Management, where he was lead client portfolio manager on the Asia-Pacific multi-asset team.

JP Morgan is in the process of identifying his replacement, said a spokeswoman. Before joining the US firm, Worthington had served for seven years as an officer in the British army. 

UBS AM said Worthington had taken up a newly created role, but there had been an individual in a similar post in the past.

Stefan Lecher had been global head of investment solutions for Asia Pacific based in Hong Kong, overseeing all multi-asset strategist activity worldwide. He has since moved across the group to be Asia-Pacific head of portfolio management at UBS Wealth Management, a role he took on in September last year.

A spokeswoman said the previous role had evolved and that Worthington was not a direct replacement for Lecher.

UBS declined to provide details of the size of the regional investment solutions team or whom Worthington reports to.

Multi-asset drive

Multi-asset investing has been one of the most competitive areas for hiring in Asia in the past year or so, with several global fund houses vying for talent to start building or continue expanding their teams. This trend has been driven by investors' appetite for diversified, stable income from strategies such as absolute return.

Pictet Asset Management hired Andy Wong from Invesco in April as its first multi-asset specialist in Asia. Aberdeen and Franklin Templeton have also made senior additions this year, with the latter hiring its first Asia head of investment solutions. 

Multi-asset solutions has been a particularly hot area, with firms increasingly looking to tailor bespoke portfolios for clients rather than simply push existing products, recruiters told AsianInvestor.

They said in the second quarter of this year that fund managers were offering salary rises of 20% to 40% to lure the right candidates, reflecting the limited supply of experienced solutions executives.