Senior trio for RBC Wealth Management
The wealth management arm of the Royal Bank of Canada has appointed a senior trio in Hong Kong and Singapore in what it says are newly created positions.

Febby Avianto was hired from Sarasin as market manager for Singapore, with responsibility for all client-facing staff in the Lion City. He reports to former Sarasin colleague Grace Barki.

Most recently Avianto was vice-chair of client advisory for Southeast Asia at Sarasin, having started out as its Indonesia head in 2009.

A spokeswoman for Sarasin confirms it is still searching for a replacement for Avianto.

In Hong Kong, RBC Wealth Management hired Esther Quek as head of FX execution and advisory, reporting to Mary Sumners, head of investments for Asia Pacific.

Quek joins from Deutsche Bank, where he was Singapore director of FX sales and advisory for its private banking clients. Prior to that he held a similar role at Merrill Lynch.

Meanwhile, Duncan She has joined as head of structured products advisory, also reporting to Sumners. He held a similar role at Clariden Leu Asset Management as a structured products specialist, before the business was reintegrated into parent Credit Suisse last April.

It is understood the three roles are newly created, with these responsibilities previously managed offshore. The trio all started in December.

Deutsche Bank declined to comment on whether it had found a replacement for Quek, while it is understood that She did not join Credit Suisse at the time of the Clariden Leu integration.

Eastspring captures Asia equity specialist
Asia-based asset manager Eastspring Investments appointed Ken Wong from SSgA in a newly created position as Asia equity portfolio specialist, AsianInvestor can confirm.

Based in Hong Kong, Wong started in December working alongside fund managers, with a focus on Greater China, Hong Kong and China strategies as well as supporting its India strategy. He reports to Sam Bentley in the Singapore-based portfolio specialist team.

Wong joins from State Street Global Advisors, where he spent over three years. Most recently he was vice-president and equity portfolio strategist.

A spokeswoman confirms that SSgA is in the final stages of recruiting a replacement.

Temasek hires to start new entity
Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek announced the appointment of Seah Moon Ming to help establish a new business entity focusing on opportunities in the natural gas sector.

Based in Singapore, Seah is due to start on March 1 as senior managing director for special projects. He reports to Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara, who heads the sovereign fund’s enterprise development group, which is responsible for searching out new growth areas for investment.

Seah joins from Singapore Technologies Engineering, a defence and engineering group majority owned by Temasek, where he was deputy CEO.

In an emailed statement, Temasek says Seah “will be leading an initiative to establish a new business entity focusing on opportunities in the LNG [liquefied natural gas] sector, which is expected to grow in Asia. This initiative under our Enterprise Development Group may include partnerships with experienced international players.”

Temasek recently carried out a management reshuffle, with Chia Song Hwee replacing Tan Chong Lee as CIO, as reported. Tan became head of portfolio management, head of strategy and co-head of Singapore with Leong Wai-Leng.

Temasek had $115 billion in AUM as at the end-March last year, a 27% year-on-year fall, by AsianInvestor numbers.

Threadneedle confirms succession timetable
UK-based asset manager Threadneedle Investments confirmed the date of its global CEO succession after it was approved by the Financial Services Authority.

Campbell Fleming will take up the role from March 1, replacing Crispin Henderson. The latter takes on a new position as vice-chairman of global asset management for Threadneedle’s US parent, Ameriprise Financial.

Fleming was previously Threadneedle’s head of global distribution. The firm says there are no plans to replace Fleming in this role, with his duties shared among the existing team, as reported.

Threadneedle managed $123.6 billion in assets globally as at the end of September last year. Of this, $11.7 billion (9.5%) is sourced from Asia-Pacific, by AsianInvestor numbers.

Vanguard taps executive from ‘key client’
US-based manager Vanguard announced the appointment of Julie Andrews from index provider FTSE as its new institutional head for Australia. Based in Sydney, she comes in to replace Geoff Diamond, who left the passive funds specialist late last year.

Andrews is expected to start in mid-March and will oversee six senior institutional relationship managers and sales staff. She joins from FTSE, where she was director of its Australia business.

While FTSE has yet to find a replacement for her, a statement released by the firm welcomed her move to Vanguard, which it acknowledges is “one of FTSE’s key global clients”.

Newedge names new head of Japan
Joint-venture brokerage Newedge announced the promotion of Shin Shinozuka to head of Japan, succeeding Yoshio Kuno, who has retired.

Effective from February 18, Shinozuka has responsibility for developing the business. He reports to Asia-Pacific head Laurent Cunin.

Most recently Shinozuka was head of compliance for the Japanese market. Prior to his joining Newedge in 2008, he was at Société Générale Securities North Pacific as a director.

Cunin recently confirmed that Newedge would need to make job cuts in what is an organisation with 3,000-plus staff globally, blaming mounting regulations, low interest rates and falling commissions for derivatives broking.

Deutsche Bank appoints transactions head
Deutsche Bank’s global transaction arm promoted David West to regional head of trust and agency services for Asia Pacific, effective this month.

He will seek to drive the growth of trust and agency services, providing services for asset managers. Additionally, he will have oversight of the bank’s escrow services.

He reports to Mrugank Paranjape, regional head of trust and securities services and cash management for financial institutions in Asia Pacific. West succeeds Sally Gilding, who has been appointed global head of corporate services.

Previously West was regional head of product management for TAS in Asia Pacific.

“We continue to see a growing interest in the region for escrows, which essentially bridge the gap between the buyers and sellers with a trusted intermediary,” West says.

Heidrick and Struggles hires PE recruiter
Recruitment firm Heidrick and Struggles has appointed Michael Di Cicco from rival Sheffield Haworth as a partner within its financial services practice.

Based in Singapore, Di Cicco will lead the private equity practice in Asia Pacific. The role is newly created.

At Sheffield Haworth he was responsible for alternative investment coverage across Asia, based out of Singapore.

Steve Mullinjer, managing partner for Asia Pacific private equity, says Di Cicco’s job is to staff portfolio companies with CEOs and COOs, and to service PE firms in their recruitment of managers such as CFOs. He may also help PE firms to partner potential investors.

“After two or three years of being relatively quiet [in the PE space], the market seems to be coming back,” says Mullinjer. “In key markets such as Indonesia and China there are still some big firms expanding their investment teams and new entrants are coming in… that is the backdrop to [Di Cicco’s] hire.”

Lobby group adds equities specialist
The Asia Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association named Nick Ronalds as managing director of its equities division.

He started in the role last month based in Hong Kong. The newly created role follows a decision by the board last year to expand in equities research.

Ronalds will seek to facilitate dialogue and consultation between regulators and Asifma’s member firms – chiefly banks – on issues affecting Asia’s equity markets.

Most recently Ronalds was at RhoFinancial, a US consultancy specialising in ETFs and Asian markets. He has also worked for Chicago Mercantile Exchange as managing director in Asia, and at ABN Amro Securities as senior vice-president to global markets for exchange-traded derivatives.

Kroll bolsters disputes practice
Corporate investigator Kroll Advisory Solutions announced the appointment of Miang Lee in the newly created role as associate managing director to its investigation and disputes practice.

Based in Hong Kong, Lee started in January and reports to Colum Bancroft, leader of the practice for Greater China. She joins from PwC in Shanghai, where she was associate director under its forensic accounting department.

“Asset management and PE clients are mainly concerned with initial due diligence into companies in China, where they need deeper information than they can normally access themselves prior to making an investment,” Lee says.

“They also look to Kroll to do post-investment research, such as re-looking at an investee company, to be assured of its ability to continue operating legally, ethically and stably.”

Calastone brings in Australia head
Fund transaction network specialist Calastone announced the appointment of Shannon Sweeney as Australia managing director, based in Sydney.

Effective from February 1, Sweeney is responsible for development of the transaction business. She comes to replace to replace joint-founder Kevin Lee, who is returning home to the UK. He will become a non-executive director of Calastone, the global parent.

Based in 16 markets including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Australia, Calastone provides settlement, reconciliations and valuations and trade notifications, amongst other services.

Withers launches consulting business
Law firm Withers announced the launch of a consulting business to provide services to family offices and entrepreneurs as a legally independent entity.

Withers Consulting Group is expected to open its doors on April 2, led Amelia Renkert-Thomas in the US and Ken McCracken in the UK, although they will be working with clients worldwide, including Asia.

It will seek to provide non-legal consultancy such as planning for future ownership, leadership and governance of family businesses. 

“Withers plans to hire further consultants as the business develops, including in Asia,” a spokeswoman says. “There have been a large number of requests coming from clients in the region and there are plans to market this service in Asia.”

McCracken and Renkert-Thomas joins from FBS Global Limited, a family enterprise advisory think-tank they co-founded.

Other people moves reported by AsianInvestor this week:

Credit Suisse cuts Asia transitions head

Surrency joins Algebris amid L&G licence delay

Barclays rejigs wealth unit to harness South Asia growth

Eastspring names Malaysia head and CIO

M&G hires in sales to complete Asia team