Greater China team onboard at Pictet
Swiss private bank Pictet & Cie confirms that seven staff from Credit Suisse are now onboard, chiefly to focus on Greater China based out of Singapore, as alluded to by AsianInvestor.

Starting last week were An Hui-ling as managing director and bankers Sylvia Chao, Joel Tsai and Emma Lee. There is also an adviser, Daryl Chen, and two associates. They all had similar positions at Credit Suisse.

Joining Pictet means they have been reunited with Anuj Khanna, former Asia-Pacific COO of Credit Suisse who joined Pictet as head of wealth management for South Asia this January. An reports directly to Khanna.

Credit Suisse subsequently appointed Eddy Sze from BNP Paribas Wealth Management as MD and market leader for Greater China, effective from July 16. He will be based in Hong Kong and report to Anna Wong, market area head.

Richard Wong also recently joined Credit Suisse from BNP as director and team leader for Greater China, reporting to Sze. Sources told AsianInvestor at the time that three RMs and four assistant RMs from BNP Paribas WM were also joining the CS Greater China team.

Just this month BNPP Wealth Management announced a replacement team.

Asked what Chinese clients demand of Pictet, the firm’s Asia wealth management head, Claude Haberer, tells AsianInvestor: “They want the best of both worlds: on the one hand a wide choice of investments, as is customary in Asia, and on the other a deep and understanding relationship.

“This need was reinforced by the pain many investors suffered in 2008-09 when they realised the integrated model – private and investment bank – can have interests opposed to that of its clients.”

He names Pictet’s priority markets in this region as Hong Kong and Greater China as well as Singapore and Indonesia. “All these offer huge opportunities with informed investors,” he says.

On the question of risk appetite, Haberer notes that Asian high-net-worth individuals are still cautious and are looking at fixed income, selective equities, well-managed funds and gold.

Overall Pictet now has 16 RMs in Singapore and 11 in Hong Kong.

New head of product development at Manulife
Manulife Asset Management announced it had appointed Elka Leung from BlackRock as managing director and head of product development for Asia, based in Hong Kong.

She joined this month after her predecessor in the role, Jimmy Wong, left in April. She will oversee regional product development and leverage investment capabilities via the firm’s distribution platforms and third-party network.

Previously Leung worked at Barclays Global Investors as vice-president of product development. When the firm was taken over by BlackRock she became a director of product development.

She now reports to Lucas Pontillo, Manulife AM’s head of finance and business development for Asia. Locally Manulife manages more than $5 billion in global asset allocation assets for Hong Kong’s MPF and other pension schemes. Overall it has $220 billion in AUM.

Securities arm of JP Morgan adds product sales head
JP Morgan’s global securities servicing arm has hired Andrew Allen from Standard Chartered in a newly created role as Asia-Pacific head of product sales for direct custody and clearing.

Allen, based in Hong Kong, will have a remit to expand the bank’s direct custody and clearing service offerings to Asia-based clients, which are currently being served onshore in Australia, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Taiwan, Russia, UK and US. The bank says the aim is to expand out of these centres and have a global footprint in 20 to 25 markets by 2015.

It says its commitment to expanding its direct custody and clearing business globally is due to the decreasing number of sub-custody providers in the market, as they will either merge or exit the business, says Rowena Romulo, head of direct custody and clearing based in London.

At present the clearing service is offered on both equities and fixed income. It seeks to capture more business from local financial institutions.

“We will represent our client’s interests by building close relationships with country regulators and key market infrastructures like central counterparties, exchanges and central securities depositories,” says Romulo.

Allen reports to Asia-Pacific head of investor services Roger Harrold, based in Singapore, and head of product sales for direct custody and clearing Alex Krunic, in London.

Previously Allen headed Standard Chartered Bank’s securities client service teams in Singapore for almost five years.

Citi bolsters Japan futures, OTC clearing, prime finance
US bank Citi announced several hires in Japan, reinforcing its commitment to the country’s futures, OTC clearing and prime finance markets.

Hiroko Sato joins as director to lead both listed and OTC derivatives clearing origination, as well as prime brokerage sales. She previously worked as a partner at hedge fund Fusion Investments, having also worked as an analyst with JP Morgan and UBS.

Masako Saito, an e-trading specialist who joins from Daiwa Securities as a vice-president, will focus on selling Citi’s exchange-listed trading platform Citi Futures and Options Execution.

Maiko Ohara, a vice-president who has relocated from Citi’s Chicago office, will further augment the domestic futures sales team in Japan, confirms the bank.

Australian private bank to grow in local market
Australian firm Fitzpatricks Private Wealth announced the appointment of John McMurdo and Chris Cuffe in new roles as group managing director and non executive director, respectively.

The pair joined the A$2 billion advisory and wealth management firm in June as it concentrates on the country’s high-net-worth investor segment. Its clientele includes business owners, wealthy individuals and families and charitable foundations. 

McMurdo was formerly at Centric Wealth as CEO, as well as at Hillross Financial Services as managing director. Prior to this, he worked in the insurance industry.

Cuffe has spent the past two decades working for Colonial First State Investments and Challenger Financial Services Group. 

AlixPartners expands in Asia with new appointments
Business advisory firm AlixPartners has relocated David Carlson from the US to Shanghai to accelerate the expansion of its information management services unit throughout Asia.

Further, Mark Pulvirenti has joined in Hong Kong as head of its financial advisory services practice. They both started in June in what the firm says are new positions.

Before joining AlixPartners in 2008, Carlson worked at the restructuring firm Alvarez & Marsal, PricewaterhouseCoopers, IBM, Accenture and Motorola.

Pulvirenti joined from advisory firm Briscoe Wong Ferrier. He has also led the bribery and corruption advisory services unit for Deloitte in Australia.

Earlier this month, AsianInvestor reported the hiring of Yung Chung in Seoul, while the group has also recently opened up a new office in Hong Kong, its third office in the region.

Other moves reported by AsianInvestor this week:

RBS names Gray to head Asian prime services

AMP Capital builds Asian equity team in HK

South Asia head to exit Russell Investments

Northern Trust names Japan investments head

SG's private bank boosts Russia desk in Asia