Aditya Birla Sun Life AM sees CEO depart
Anu Sahai, chief executive of Singapore-based Aditya Birla Sun Life Asset Management, moved on last month after some three years with the firm. She had led efforts to raise offshore investments into India.

The asset manager could not comment by press time on whether Sahai had been or would be replaced. AsianInvestor was unable to ascertain where she might have gone.

With under 73.2 billion rupees ($1.35 billion) in AUM as of end-2012, Aditya Birla AM is the international arm of India's Birla Sun Life AM, which is part of India’s Aditya Birla Financial Services Group and a joint venture with Canada's Sun Life. 

With 18 years’ experience across alternative and traditional asset classes in the US and Asia, Sahai was previously principal and founder of Anew Capital Management. There she managed the Anew India Opportunity Master Fund, an opportunistic long/short India-focused fund that invests mainly in equity and convertible securities.

Before that, she worked for ING Investment Management, where she managed equity, high-yield and convertibles portfolios for almost five years.

UBS Wealth Management promotes regional heads
UBS Wealth Management has made four senior promotions in Greater China, effective May 1.

Betty Tsui takes up the newly created role of China vice chairman, having most recently been regional market manager for China. Before that, she headed the private bank’s Taiwan business between 1998 and 2005. Ruth Chung and Francis Liu come in to replace Tsui as co-regional market managers for China.

Chung is currently country team head for north China and joined UBS in 1994. She started as a client adviser with a focus on Taiwan.

Liu is currently co-regional market manager for Hong Kong alongside Jean-Claude Humair, a position he took up in 2010. Before joining UBS, he worked for Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Following Liu’s reassignment, Humair assumes sole responsibility as market manager for Hong Kong, and is also appointed deputy CEO for Hong Kong.

Chung, Humair and Liu report to Hong Kong CEO Allen Lo, while Tsui’s reporting line is to Asia CEO Kathryn Shih.

A UBS spokeswoman said there had not been any departures as a result of these promotions.

Société Générale hires for cross-commodity research
French bank Société Générale named Mark Keenan as cross-commodity research strategist in Singapore, effective April 1.

He joins from Cubit Commodity Research in Singapore, which runs fundamentally driven commodity investment strategies, where he was most recently CEO. Before that, he worked in Singapore for London-based hedge fund RWC Partners.

He replaces ex-Hong Kong-based Jeremy Friesen, who is now a director for commodity strategist in the bank’s New York subsidiary.

Keenan reports to Michael Haigh, global head of commodities research, and functionally to Guy Stear, head of research for Asia.

Ropes & Gray adds HK corporate partner
Ropes & Gray has hired capital markets and M&A lawyer Victoria Lloyd from rival law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson in Hong Kong as it continues to build its practice in the city.

The Boston-headquartered firm, which has a strong focus on private equity clients, launched its Hong Kong law practice in May last year, having opened an office in the city in 2008.

Lloyd, an English-qualified lawyer, will work alongside the firm’s 10 Hong Kong partners, including US securities lawyer Paul Boltz and English-law M&A and capital markets partner Julian Chung. All three are also qualified locally.

Lloyd was one of a group of nine partners, led by Huen Wong, who left law firm Simmons & Simmons in 2006 to set up Fried Frank’s Hong Kong office. At Ropes & Gray, Lloyd will once again be helping a US law firm to establish its Hong Kong law practice.

There is plenty of competition. The UK firms have long been offering local law advice in Hong Kong and started to hire US lawyers in the city more than a decade ago, while US firms have been adding local law during the past few years — from the big Wall Street firms such as Davis Polk & Wardwell, Shearman & Sterling, Skadden Arps and Sullivan & Cromwell, to more direct competitors such as Kirkland Ellis, which also focuses on PE clients.

But there may also be plenty of work to go round. PE funds in China have been facing a challenge in the past couple of years, as the opportunity to exit through initial public offerings in Hong Kong has been dramatically reduced.

As many funds reach maturity, they will be forced to exit one way or another, which may create acquisition opportunities for buyers keen to get their hands on high-quality PE-invested businesses in China.

DTCC names new regional head
The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation has appointed Peter Tierney as regional head of Asia. He joined the post-trade group in mid-March in a newly created role to support the opening of DTCC’s Asia-Pacific global data centre in Singapore, which opened its doors in December.

Tierney heads a team to help market participants comply with regulatory requirements on OTC derivatives trade reporting. This team will also provide client support and operational processing in the region. 

Tierney joins from financial technology advisory firm Saquish, which he founded. Before that, he was chief operating officer for Asia at NYSE Technologies.

The opening of DTCC’s Singapore’s offices comes as Japan’s Financial Services Authority approved the firm’s application to become a Japanese OTC derivatives trade repository earlier this month. The system for the storage and reporting of trading data went live on April 1 in Tokyo. It is the first trade repository to be approved and established for the Japanese market. 

In Hong Kong, DTCC says it has been working with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to operate as an agent in sending data to HKMA on behalf of its participants, so that multinational entities can report once to meet their multiple reporting obligations.

People moves reported on AsianInvestor this week:

Ashmore opens in Indonesia outlines plans

Standard Life embarks on Asia hiring spree

Sun Life hires from UBS to bolster MPF offering