Northern Trust expands Australia’s asset-servicing arm
Asset management and servicing group Northern Trust has appointed Christopher Thomson to the newly created role of business development manager. He started in the Melbourne-based post on June 18 and reports to Jeremy Hester, head of business development.

Thomson will be responsible for sales activity, focusing on its 14 institutional clients with A$137 billion in assets under custody, in Australia and New Zealand.

Thomson joins from JP Morgan Treasury Services in Australia as a sales and relationship manager. He also had similar roles at other firms, including Goldman Sachs JB Were and State Street Australia.

This comes at a time when Northern Trust, which entered the Australian market in 2006, is looking to invest in that business, including in custody and middle-office services.

Its client base includes superannuation funds, investment managers, insurance companies and sovereign wealth funds. Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation and Queensland Investment Corporation are among the company’s Australian clients.

Hyperion boosts family-office and boutique coverage
Boutique Australian equities fund manager Hyperion Asset Management has hired Stephen Tilston as associate director. He began in the role in Sydney on July 17 and is responsible for developing the firm’s boutique institution and family-office client portfolio.

The newly created role comes at a time of “an uplift in the number of boutique institution and family-office investors coming to Hyperion”, says Tim Samway, managing director.

Tilston was most recently at Perpetual Investment Strategy as the company’s equities portfolio specialist, where he was responsible for driving new business sales.

Earlier this month, AsianInvestor reported the appointment of Will Hartnell as a dealer and analyst in the investment team.

Clifford Chance set to open in Korea
Law firm Clifford Chance has cleared its first hurdle in its move to open a South Korean office, having received approval from the country’s Ministry of Justice. A spokeswoman said the office will open once the firm has received further approvals, including a licence to practice from the Korean Bar Association.

Counsel Brian Cassidy will manage the new Korean office, while partner Kim Hyun, head of the firm’s Korean practice, will join Cassidy in Seoul once his foreign registered lawyer status has been granted.

Kim joined the firm in August 2009 and has advised Asian and international clients on legal issues in capital markets and M&A, including investment-grade and high-yield debt offerings, equity offerings with listing on international exchanges. His clients include multilateral development banks, financial institutions and multinational corporations.

Cassidy has 20 years of international experience in the mining and energy sectors and joined the law firm in February 2010.

Clifford Chance is one of the first foreign law firms to obtain approval to open an office in the country, taking advantage of a recent free trade deal allowing foreign law firms, including from the US and the EU, to practice in the country. It has over 400 lawyers in the region, with offices in Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Perth, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo.

First Chinese partner for Withers with family trust specialism
Personal and business law firm specialist Withers has promoted Rita Ku Ming Wai from associate to partner in the Hong Kong office, pending regulatory approval.

Ku practices family law and specialises in divorce, child custody and ancillary relief cases. She also advises on issues around family trusts in the Cayman and British Virgin Islands. Her clients generally have substantial assets or company structures across different jurisdictions. Ku, the firm’s first Chinese partner, speaks Mandarin, Cantonese and English.

“Over the last 18 months, we have continued to strengthen our Chinese-speaking offering in line with the growing number of high-net-worth individuals in Hong Kong and mainland China who need high-level legal advice,” says Marcus Dearle, Hong Kong’s managing partner.

Previous to Withers, Ku worked at Facey & Co in 2010, a Withers-associated law firm that later merged with its parent company in January 2011. Prior to that, she also worked at Hampton, Winter and Glynn, specialising in matrimonial law.

Separately, Sharon Ser has been promoted to senior regional partner Asia. She has practised family law in Hong Kong for 25 years. She also previously worked at Facey & Co and Hampton, Winter and Glynn.

Other people moves reported by AsianInvestor this week:

Asia credit head leaves Aberdeen after reorg

Franklin Templeton shuffles regional heads

Coutts sees more Asia execs come and go

Principal's new Asia COO eyes China growth

UK house Hermes plans EM debt team