Weekly roundup of job-hoppers, Aug 17

Jim Fallon exits BoA-Merrill, Desmond Liu mulls future, Yeung exits Thomson Reuters, Barki joins RBC, Mercer rebuilds WM team, SocGen adds chief economist, and alts manager opens HK office.
Weekly roundup of job-hoppers, Aug 17

Fallon latest to exit BoA-Merrill's prime brokerage team
Industry veteran Jim Fallon has left Bank of America-Merrill Lynch’s prime brokerage team, AsianInvestor has learned. He becomes the latest to exit following a string of departures.

He served as director of financing sales and was the most senior member of the bank’s Singapore prime brokerage team. He had previously won best salesperson while at BoA-Merrill in AsianInvestor’s 2010 Service Provider Awards.

A bank spokesman confirmed Fallon exited last month, having joined BoA-Merrill in 2009 following stints at Morgan Stanley and fund of hedge funds Tremont.

At the start of this year BoA-Merrill appointed Graham Seaton to the newly created role of head of Asia-Pacific prime brokerage. Fallon’s departure comes after a number of exits from the team.

Sam Tabar, head of Asia Pacific capital introductions, left in May, while Brian Canniffe, regional head of global markets financing and futures, stepped down in February.

Dan McNicholas, who had headed the bank’s Asia financing sales, left last September. He has since joined State Street Corporation as head of sales for its alternative investment solutions division.

Liu quits HSBC Private Bank for destination unknown
HSBC Private Bank’s former head of North Asia, Desmond Liu, is understood to be still undecided about where his future lies after quitting the firm at the start of this week.

Liu is currently on gardening leave after handing in his resignation from HSBC Private Bank, where he was a managing director.

Sources say he is considering his options, which include some outside banking, and will be engaged in talks for the next few weeks.

“He is still in the process of finalising things and exploring things a little bit,” says a source close to Liu. “There are a lot of opportunities in the market as far as he is concerned. He has to make up his mind which direction he will go in, a corporate or another bank.”

Liu’s resignation comes after HSBC PB announced in November it had promoted Bernard Rennell to chief executive for North Asia in a new role based in Hong Kong. He came in above Liu, who was North Asia head up until that point and was then asked to report to Rennell.

As previously reported by AsianInvestor, it had only been a year since HSBC PB had introduced Liu to the market as part of a new regional leadership following Asia chief executive Monica Wong’s retirement.

At that time Liu was named private banking head for North Asia, while Nancie Dupier was appointed head of private banking for Southeast Asia. It came after Liu had been promoted to head of Greater China.

However, HSBC Private Bank subsequently issued a statement to say Rennell would take over responsibility for all private banking across North Asia, including Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines. He reports to global CEO of HSBC Private Bank, Krishna Patel.

Thomson Reuters Indices loses Yeung
Anthony Yeung has left his post as Asia head of business development at Thomson Reuters Indices, AsianInvestor has learned.

He joined the firm in Hong Kong in December 2010 and has more than 15 years of experience in Asian financial and banking industries.

At Thomson Reuters he had handled all business activities in the Asia-Pacific region, including licensing, business development, index development and relationship management for financial institutions.

Thomson Reuters has been seeking to gain a foothold in the region’s index-provision industry, which is dominated by international firms such as MSCI and FTSE and local providers like China Securities Index Co, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Indexes and Japan’s Nikkei.

Fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin, Yeung previously held positions as regional director at Dow Jones Indexes and vice president of investor and derivatives marketing at Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing.

AsianInvestor could not reach Thomson Reuters for comment by press time, and was unable to ascertain Yeung’s next destination or whether he had been or would be replaced.

No retirement for Grace Barki
RBC Wealth Management has hired Grace Barki from Swiss private bank Sarasin as head of Southeast Asia, according to media reports.

Barki had quit Sarasin earlier this year reportedly to take early retirement, the bank said at the time. However, she has now turned up at the private banking arm of the Royal Bank of Canada.

She had only been with Sarasin for just over two years, having been appointed vice-chairman and head of Southeast Asia in December 2009 at what was then Bank-Sarasin Rabo (Asia).

Barki is an Indonesian citizen domiciled in Singapore who prior to Sarasin spent five years with UBS, where she managed its Indonesia and Philippines markets.

Before that she worked for Citigroup Private Bank, having begun her career with Citibank in Singapore and Jakarta in 1985.

A spokesperson for RBC Wealth Management was unavailable at press time.

Separately, RBC Investment Management (Asia) has been reprimanded and fined HK$4 million by Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission, the regulator stated on its website this week.

This was in relation to its provision of investment advice to clients on a number of non-SFC authorised funds between November 2006 and July 2008.

RBC has agreed to make repurchase offers to eligible customers and compensation to eligible former customers in a resolution made under section 201 of the Securities & Futures Ordinance.

Mercer rebuilds wealth management team
Consultancy Mercer announced it had appointed Edmund Teo from Russell Investments to lead its new wealth management team in Asia following a number of departures.

Teo comes in to replace Hansi Mehrotra, who had been Mercer’s Asia-Pacific head of WM consulting but left last December and has since joined Hubbis as its managing director for India.

Teo will be responsible for a team providing research, advisory and portfolio management to Asia-based private banks, insurance firms, consumer banks and financial planning organisations.

He will be supported by Pierre DeGagne, who joins as a principal consultant to offer investment advice and solutions. DeGagne will also be involved in financial product risks and assessment.

Both Teo and DeGagne will be backed by a 17-strong team based in Singapore, says Mercer.

Teo was formerly regional director at Russell Investments, advising on and structuring investment solutions. He has also held client-facing positions at First State Investments and UOB Asset Management.

Previously DeGagne was head of Funds Select at Standard Chartered, where he was responsible for the bank’s offshore mutual funds strategy globally and research for private banking and retail businesses.

Iris Kao was the last of Mercer’s three-strong wealth management consulting team in Singapore and moved on in April, but the consultancy had said it planned to rebuild in this area and was looking for a new Asia head. The other team members had been Mehrotra and analyst Desmond Lee, who exited about a year ago.

SocGen hires chief Asia-Pac economist
French bank Société Générale announced the promotion of Klaus Baader as chief Asia Pacific economist for the group’s cross-asset research team.

Based in Hong Kong, Baader replaces Glenn Maguire, who quit to pursue other opportunities, AsianInvestor understands. He reports to global head of economics Michala Marcussen and Guy Stear, head of research for Asia Pacific.

Baader started his role as long ago as March, although his appointment was only announced this week. He was transferred from the London office, where he was chief euro area economist.

Before joining SG in July 2009, Baader had been chief Europe economist at Merrill Lynch from 2006 after working at Lehman Brothers, UBS, Deutsche Bank and Salomon Brothers.

New Hong Kong office for alts manager
Alternatives manager Adveq announced it had opened an office in Hong Kong headed by David Seex, its third on-the-ground presence in the region.

The $4.5 billion firm, which was founded in 1997 and invests in private equity and real asset funds globally, established an office in Beijing in 2008 and Shanghai in 2011.

It says it has invested in more than 300 funds on behalf of clients, including pension funds, insurance companies and family offices in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. It also has offices in Zurich, Frankfurt and New York and a rep office in Sydney.

Seex is its Asia-Pacific head and is responsible for investor relations, marketing and business development in the region, as well as responsible officer for Adveq Management Hong Kong.

He was previously chief executive of RAB Capital in Asia, and prior to that head of alternative investments for Asia at Citigroup, where he spent 15 years.

Hayes returns to First State Investments
First State Investments (FSI) announced it had rehired Stephen Hayes to head of listed property securities, based in Sydney. He is due to start in his new role on September 10.

It follows the resignation of Andrew Nicholas, who left the firm effective today (August 17) to pursue other opportunities after heading the business for the past three years.

Hayes joined FSI in 1999 and is credited with building the firm’s global property securities business. However, he left in 2006 to join another Sydney-based fund manager.

David Dixon, FSI’s chief investment officer, says team members are in Sydney, New York, London and Hong Kong. “We believe a global approach, employing specialist property investors in each region, is the most effective way to manage global property securities portfolios.”

Other people moves reported by AsianInvestor in the past week:

Bo Xilai case ensnares Ag Bank's funds JV

More heads roll in transition management

RQFII ETFs no threat, says iShares chief

BNY Mellon to unveil management hires

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