SocGen’s Magnenat joins Lombard Odier
Lombard Odier announced it had hired Vincent Magnenat from Société Générale as its Singapore CEO, replacing Richard Wee, who is named vice-chairman of the board.

Magnenat’s appointment became effective on December 3 and he oversees its private banking and asset management businesses in Singapore and Southeast Asia. He reports to Vincent Duhamel, Lombard Odier’s head of Asia.

Previously Magnenat worked as Asia head of sales and marketing at SocGen, based in Hong Kong. He oversaw teams in North and Southeast Asia, as well as international marketing teams. He has also served as SocGen’s global market manager in Singapore.

Prior to SocGen he has worked at Credit Suisse Private Bank in both Switzerland and Singapore, and Winterthur Life Insurance in Switzerland.

Wee’s appointment to board vice-chairman is a newly created position to oversee regional strategy and coordinate initiatives, although he will continue to serve private clients.

Lombard Odier has more than $160 billion in assets under management, of which over $7 billion is from Asian clients.

BlackRock hires Hong Kong retail head
US-based asset manager BlackRock announced it had hired Julia Lee from ING Investment Management as director and head of retail distribution in Hong Kong.

She is set to start on January 2 responsible for growing the business, which encompasses mutual funds and ETFs. She reports to Heather Pelant, who transferred from the US to Hong Kong in September to serve as head of retail sales for Hong Kong, Singapore and Southeast Asia.

BlackRock notes that the appointment follows the integration of the iShares and BlackRock Asia retail sales teams, in a model to allow clients access to its range of index and active products.

Previously Lee worked at ING Investment Management, where she was head of wholesale and business development in Hong Kong.

When Mark McCombe came on board to replace Rohit Bhagat as BlackRock’s Asia-Pacific chairman at the end of last year he made retail sales one of his priorities.

BlackRock subsequently moved to revamp its Asia distribution team, relocating Chang Lin-Yun from Taipei to Hong Kong a few months ago as head of retail for Asia ex-Japan. It also transferred Pelant from the US.

Lavin Mok, who had joined BlackRock from EdRam in December 2010 as head of retail sales for Hong Kong and Singapore, has left.

A spokeswoman for ING IM in Hong Kong confirmed that Lee left last week, and that there were no plans to replace her.

ING Investment Management has been up for sale as the Dutch financial services firm sells assets to repay a €10 billion ($12.9 billion) government bailout dating to the 2008 financial crisis.

Earlier this year AsianInvestor reported that negotiations between Ameriprise Financial, parent of Threadneedle Asset Management, and ING over the acquisition of the latter’s Asian investment business had broken down.

This led to the exit of its Asia-Pacific chief executive Grant Bailey, with sources indicating that the business was now likely to be broken up.

Coutts names See as Asia COO
UK private bank Coutts announced the appointment of Jeff See as chief operating officer for Asia, effective on January 7.

Based in Hong Kong, See will drive forward the firm’s operational platform for the region. He reports jointly to Tom Lack, head of operations for the wealth division, and Michael Blake, general manager for Coutts Asia.

Blake came in recently to replace Nick Pollard, who completed his three-year assignment as Asia CEO. Pollard is understood to be taking on a new Asia-based role, which is yet to be announced. He endured the resignation of scores of staff when he started as Asia chief in 2009, and oversaw the subsequent rebuilding process.

See has spent the past 14 years working for UBS in London, New York and Hong Kong in various risk, finance and management roles. He was named COO for Asia Pacific in 2009 and most recently held COO roles covering UBS’ ultra-high-net-worth and global family office businesses.

Earlier this month AsianInvestor reported that Coutts had hired Jacqueline Chua from UBS as market head for Southeast Asia, based in Singapore. She reports to Ranjit Khanna, head of Southeast Asia and global non-resident Indians.

Chua came in to replace Manfred Liechti, who left Coutts in April 2012. Liechti’s departure saw Khanna take on the Southeast Asia role, assuming responsibilities Liechti had previously held.

Chan appointed CEO at Ascalon
Ascalon Capital Managers announced the internal appointment of Chuak Chan as its chief executive officer.

Chan was appointed head of Ascalon Asia in July 2011 to establish Ascalon Capital Managers’ Asia business. He will continue to be based in Ascalon’s office in Hong Kong and Australia.

Ascalon Capital Managers reports that since then it has made progress in the region, including securing its licensing and the formation of three partnerships with alternative and high-conviction fund houses to manage strategies for institutional and high-net-worth clients.

In another internal move, Ascalon announced that Jason Collins has been appointed chief operating officer, reporting to Chan. He will continue to lead its Australian business and be responsible for key relationships in Australia.

Prior to Ascalon, Chan worked as COO on a hedge fund in Hong Kong, and also for a decade at ING Investment Management, including as chief risk officer for Asia Pacific, and regional head of business development.

Ascalon, which is wholly owned by Westpac Banking Corporation and its wealth management division BT Financial group, has offices in Sydney and Hong Kong and affiliate offices in Singapore and London.