US firm Federated Investors, a $356 billion global manager, is preparing to open an Asia-Pacific subsidiary and has hired the former regional chief of Aviva Investors, Craig Bingham, to run it.

Based in Melbourne, Bingham will manage Federated’s efforts to expand via the development of an Australia-based investment management hub that is also designed to serve as a gateway for its new business venture in Asia.

The Melbourne office will focus on regional distribution of existing Federated strategies as well as the development of new products for Australia.

In addition, Bingham will lead efforts to identify opportunities throughout Asia, primarily in Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as the Middle East.

Federated says it expects to open its Melbourne office in the coming weeks and to have a sales and office support team in place by the end of 2012.

Bingham was based in Melbourne as Asia-Pacific chief executive of Aviva Investors, where he worked for 11 years. But he said last August that he had decided to step down once the firm opted to sell its Australian equities business to nabInvest and relocate its Asia head to Singapore. Erich Gerth moved from London to replace him last September.

At that time Bingham said he wanted to take a break to consider his next move, but that he wanted to stay in asset management and would consider an overseas role.

The move to Federated looks like a good fit for both parties, given that at Aviva Bingham was responsible for developing fully licensed asset management strategies, expanding its Australian presence and opening distribution offices in Japan, Taiwan and the Middle East.

Bingham now reports to Gordon Ceresino, vice-chairman of Federated and executive director for its international distribution.

Federated Investors managed $355.9 billion in managed assets as at June 30 this year, a 3.7% drop from six months earlier. About 77% of its assets are in money-markets, with the remainder in domestic and international equities and fixed income (the larger share in fixed income).

It has 138 funds and runs a number of separately managed accounts, providing management to about 4,700 institutions and intermediaries worldwide.

Established in 1955, its global business operations date to 1991, when it established Federated International Management as a wholly owned subsidiary in Dublin. It was the first US company whose registered money-market funds were approved for distribution in Europe.

In 1998 it launched a venture with German insurer LVM-Versicherungen to offer Federated funds in Germany, and in April this year it completed its acquisition of Prime Rate Capital Management, a UK-based provider of institutional liquidity and fixed income products.