Blackstone names Banerjee chairman of Singapore
US private equity firm Blackstone named Gautam Banerjee as chairman of its Singapore business, effective from January 1.

In this role he will act as a senior representative of the firm to various constituencies in Singapore and the region, in a drive to help develop the business in Southeast Asia. He also joins Blackstone’s International Advisory Board, and is tasked with providing a regional context and macro perspectives to Blackstone’s leadership team.

Most recently he served as executive chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers Singapore, where he served as a member of the global firm’s strategy council and as chief operating officer for PwC for China, Japan, Korea, Australia and Southeast Asia.

Banerjee holds a number of executive roles. He is vice-chairman of the Singapore Business Federation and serves on the boards of Singapore Airlines, the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, the Economic Development Board, the Straits Trading Company, the Apec Business Advisory Council and the Yale-NUS College.

He has served on the corporate governance council of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Companies Act reform steering committee. He was also a nominated member of parliament in Singapore from 2007 to 2009.

Blackstone had $205 billion in AUM globally as at the end of the third quarter last year. It manages private equity funds, real estate funds, hedge fund solutions, credit-orientated funds and closed-end funds.

Credit Suisse names SE Asia private banking head
Credit Suisse announced that Claudio de Sanctis from UBS Wealth Management would join its Asia-Pacific private banking business as market area head for Southeast Asia.

Effective from April 1, he comes in as a managing director and will focus on driving business growth in Southeast Asia, including internal collaboration opportunities.

He takes over from former UBS colleague Tee Fong-Seng, who has been covering the role for the past year in addition to his duties as vice-chairman of private banking for Asia Pacific.

A spokeswoman for Credit Suisse stresses that Tee will now focus solely on providing senior client coverage and support for its ultra-high-net-worth and key clients. He will also look to recruit senior private bankers and represent Credit Suisse’s regional private banking unit in its dealings with regulators and industry bodies.

In his new role De Sanctis will report to Francesco de Ferrari, head of private banking for Asia Pacific at Credit Suisse.

Most recently De Sanctis was managing director and market head of Iberia and the Nordics at UBS Wealth Management Europe. Prior to that he was head of key clients in Europe for Barclays’ private banking business and at Merrill Lynch Private Wealth Management in Emea.

The Credit Suisse spokeswoman says he oversaw European client business booked in Asia in his previous wealth management roles in Europe.

Manulife AM adds Korean equities PM
Canada-based Manulife Asset Management announced it had hired Andrew John O in a newly-created role as senior portfolio manager for Korean equities.

John O’s appointment became effective on January 2 and he oversees research, analysis and management of Korean equities out of Hong Kong. He reports to Ronald Chan, the firm’s head of equities for Asia.

John O’s appointment comes as the group sees opportunities for Korean companies to benefit from the country’s exports to China.

“With China's economy forecasted to grow in 2013 and with China being the largest trading partner for Korea, trade is expected to increase, which in turn should be supportive for the domestic economy,” Chan says.

Previously John O worked at Horizon Asset International. He has also worked at FrontPoint Partners, Goldman Sachs, the World Bank and Korea Technology Banking Corporation.

Manulife AM had $227.5 billion in AUM globally as at the end of last year, of which $52.1 billion was sourced from Asia Pacific, by AsianInvestor numbers. That put them 31st on our annual list of the top 100 fund management companies in the region.

Henderson Global Investors adds analyst
UK asset manager Henderson Global Investors announced the appointment of Wong Yan Ling from Standard Chartered as an analyst on its Asia-Pacific property equities desk.

He joined in late December in Singapore and reports to Tim Gibson, head of property equities in Asia. Gibson runs the £356 million ($575 million) Henderson horizon Asia-Pacific property equities fund.

Wong comes to replace Eric Khaw, who has since been promoted to associate fund manager.

“The Asia-Pacific region has seen a strong resurgence in property shares this year and demand for residential, in particular, has remained strong, despite measures to cool markets in China, Hong Kong and Singapore,” says Gibson.

“Nevertheless, valuations suggest there is further to go, especially if global risk appetite continues to improve. We expect there to be a big difference between the best and the rest, meaning that the larger companies with the better assets will tend to outperform.”

Swift chief executive for Emea assumes additional Asia role
Financial messaging provider Swift announced the promotion of Alain Raes to chief executive for Asia Pacific following the retirement of Ian Johnston. Raes will relocate to Singapore from Swift’s headquarters in Belgium.

He has worked as chief executive of Emea since September 2007, and was previously director of continental Europe, covering securities and banking sales. Prior to Swift he worked at Citibank, Belgium and Fortis Bank in Singapore.

Johnston stepped down as Asia-Pacific chief at the end of last year.

HKEx sees senior executives reshuffle over LME acquisition
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing carried out an executive reshuffle following its £1.4 billion ($2.25 billion) acquisition of the London Metal Exchange in December.

David Graham has assumed the role of chief regulatory officer to oversee HKEx’s listing division and market surveillance, legal services and secretarial services departments. He will succeed current head of listings Mark Dickens, who is set to retire in July. A deputy head of listing will be appointed in due course.

Meanwhile, Romnesh Lamba, formerly HKEx head of market development, and Martin Abbott, chief executive of the LME, have been named co-heads of a newly established division called global markets. Abbott remains CEO of LME.

They will oversee equities, fixed income, currency and commodities businesses, including the LME, as well as the mainland development, business development and strategy departments.

Lamba succeeds Gerald Greiner as chief executive of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Futures Exchange.

Greiner, who was group COO at HKEx, will become head of global clearing, overseeing all HKEx’s clearing businesses, including existing clearing operations, OTC clearing, LME Clear and risk management. He will also continue as CEO of Hong Kong Securities Clearing.

The group also announced the appointment of Bryan Chan and Calvin Tai as co-heads of the equities and FICC business. Formerly they were head of market data and head of trading, respectively. They will report to Lamba and Abbott.

Chan will oversee the group’s cash trading and market data divisions, and joint-venture China Exchanges Services Company. Tai will have responsibility for derivatives trading, product and index development. Jointly they will oversee issuer and client services.

Other appointments include Felix Wang, Ketan Patel and Chris Jones as co-heads of clearing risk management; Henry Ingrouille as COO; and Henry Law as head of corporate communications.

Sidley Austin elects Hekker to partnership
Law firm Sidley Austin announced the election of Singapore-based Gerard Hekker to the partnership, effective from January 1.

Hekker’s primary area of practice is securities and his practice focuses on corporate finance, liability management, mergers and acquisitions and complex restructuring transactions, representing purchasers, sellers and target companies.

His clients have included public and private companies, financial institutions, governments and government-linked companies in Asia.

The group has 18 offices worldwide, including Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo.

Debevoise promotes Anderson to international counsel
Law firm Debevoise and Plimpton announced the promotion of Gavin Anderson to international counsel, effective January 1.

He has advised sponsors and investors on a variety of investment management issues, including private investment funds, private equity, real estate and infrastructure funds, and acts for a range of sponsors on fund formation and related activities.

Anderson’s recent experience includes acting for clients such as Baring Private Equity (India), CDH Investments, DE Shaw, Global Infrastructure Partners, Morgan Stanley, Navis Capital Partners and Victoria South American Partners.

Other people moves published on AsianInvestor this week:

UBP awaits Singapore banking licence, plans hires

Permal plans Shanghai base amid mainland focus

APS Asset Management targets China hires

SLI bulking up in Asia sales and marketing