First State hires global fixed income CIO from Aberdeen
Australia’s First State Investments (FSI) has appointed Paul Griffiths from Aberdeen Asset Management in a newly created role of fixed income CIO.

Effective from July 1, London-based Griffiths will join from Aberdeen Asset Management, where he was most recently their global head of fixed income, overlooking 15 principal strategies and managing 130 investment professionals across London, Philadelphia, Singapore and Sydney. He had also previously worked at Axa Investment Managers, Investec Asset Management and Invesco/GT.

Reporting to CEO Mark Lazberger, Griffiths will be responsible for global fixed income and credit, short-term investments and the global emerging markets debt teams. The Asia fixed income team will continue to report into Sydney-based Tony Adams, head of global fixed income and credit.

Griffiths’ role is a new one, with the responsibility previously taken on by the group’s overall chief investment officer, David Dixon. As a result, Dixon will now be responsible for the group’s equity offerings only as equity CIO, also effective from July 1.

In October, First State lost Murray Collis, its Asia head of fixed income, to rival US-based Standish Mellon Asset Management after spending 15 years at the firm, as reported. An FSI spokeswoman confirms that Collis has yet to be replaced.

Meanwhile, in response to AsianInvestor queries, a spokeswoman for Aberdeen says only that Griffiths’ departure will not affect its Asia operations.

Veteran Baker joins Millennium Partners
Hedge fund veteran Kurt Baker has joined Millennium Partners as head of business development for Asia.

It is understood that that this is a newly created role to focus on seeking out portfolio management talent in Asia, as opposed to raising investor capital.

The $18 billion fund is the flagship strategy of US-based Millennium Management, founded in 1990 by industry titan Israel Englander.

Baker formerly headed Morgan Stanley’s prime brokerage unit in Asia, later co-founding Greater China-focused hedge fund JT Capital in 2010.

Baker parted ways with JT Capital in mid-2012, a few months after its seed investor, mainland fund house Harvest, transferred management of the fund it to its alternatives investment platform.  

Meanwhile, JT Capital recently expanded its team, adding Dennis Lam, who was previously with Tanrich Securities, and Helen Lo, formerly of Sail Advisors and Beaumont Strategic Advisors. Both joined the firm last month, according to registration information from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission.

Baker did not respond to AsianInvestor queries seeking comment.

BlackRock names co-head in alternatives
BlackRock has named Andrew Stewart to co-head its alternative investment business alongside Matthew Botein, including real estate, hedge fund and private equity fund-of-funds.

Stewart was most recently a managing director in the asset management division at Credit Suisse based in New York, where he was head of liquid alternatives.

On top of his CIO co-head responsibility, Botein will oversee a newly created alternative-solutions unit that develops risk analytics for clients.

In January, the US fund manager named Lee Jeong Hoon for the newly created position of alternative investment strategy group head for North Asia as the group seeks to strengthen the firm’s burgeoning alts platform in North Asia, as well as to develop regional investment opportunities for global clients.

He reports to Joseph Pacini, head of BlackRock’s alternatives strategy group for Asia-Pacific.

Citi reassigns head of securities and fund services
US bank Citi has reassigned and relocated Jervis Smith to Asia-Pacific head of client sales management for financial institutions within its securities and fund services business.

Based in Hong Kong, Smith will be responsible for managing sales and client coverage teams across 17 markets in the region. He becomes a member of the Citi Transaction Services management team in Asia Pacific.

Smith reports to David Russell, Citi’s Asia-Pacific head of securities and fund services, as well as Dirk Jones, global head of financial institutions.

It is understood that Smith’s role is newly created in a drive to consolidate the sales efforts, with the different groups having previously reported to David Russell directly.

Most recently Smith was the global client executive head for Citi’s securities and fund services business based in London, having joined the bank in 1994.

Citi has $13.2 trillion in assets under custody globally. It does not break its regional number.

Nomura hires head of equities for Asia ex-Japan
Nomura has hired former Bank of America-Merrill Lynch banker Yasuhiro Fujiwara as head of equities for Asia ex-Japan.

Fujiwara, who will be based in Hong Kong as managing director, will also take on the role of head of equity derivatives trading for Asia-Pacific.

He joins Nomura after being away from the industry for a little over a year, having left BoA Merrill in October 2011.

In his most recent job as co-head of global markets and head of equities for Asia-Pacific at BoA-Merrill, Fujiwara established an equities client franchise. He spent 14 years with the US bank, initially in Japan and from December 2007 in Hong Kong.

Before joining BoA-Merrill and its predecessor Merrill Lynch, Fujiwara worked at UBS in Japan and at JP Morgan.

The hire comes after Nomura restructured its businesses to form a global markets division last December. Global markets is split into global products – which includes rates, credit, FX, securitised products and equities – and global functions, which is made up of execution services, structuring, solutions sales, senior relationship management and research.

Prior to the restructuring, John Adair was effectively head of equities for Asia ex-Japan. Adair resigned in December and left the bank early this year.

Fujiwara’s second job as head of derivatives trading for Asia-Pacific is a new role at the bank. He will have a three-way reporting line to Naoki Matsuba and Yutaka Nakajima, who are joint heads of global markets for Asia-Pacific, and to Minoru Shinohara, the CEO for Asia ex-Japan. Matsuba is also co-head of global markets.

In addition to his day-to-day job, Fujiwara will also join Nomura’s global markets leadership team and the Asia executive management committee.

Deutsche add Korea head from BoA-Merrill
The CEO of Deutsche Bank in Korea, Soo-Ryong Kim, is retiring, with Ahn Sung Eun from Bank of America-Merrill Lynch to succeed him as chief country officer and chief executive of its securities business.

As chief country officer, Seoul-based Ahn will also oversee responsibilities for its asset management business. He starts July 1 and will report to Alan Cloete and Gunit Chadha, co-CEOs for Asia Pacific and members of the group executive committee.

Most recently Ahn was CEO and head of investment banking for Korea at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, a post he had held since April 2004. He previously worked for Deutsche in 2002 and 2004 and also for Salomon Smith Barney, ING Barings and BZW.

Last month the co-chief executive of Deutsche Asset management in Korea, Yong Shin, stepped down, leaving Terry Hwang as sole leader of the business, as reported.

BoAML confirmed that Ahn had departed, with a replacement for him soon to be announced.

BoA-Merrill hires equity strategist
Bank of America-Merrill Lynch announced that Ajay Kapur would be joining the firm in June as Asia-Pacific equity and global emerging market strategist, based in Hong Kong.

Most recently Kapur was head of Asia strategy at Deutsche Bank, which he joined in 2010. Previously he had held equity strategy roles at Mirae Asset and Citigroup.

In his role as global emerging market strategist, Kapur will work closely with Michael Harris, from the emerging Europe equity strategy team, and Filipe Hirai, covering Latin America. In Asia he will work with Nigel Tupper, global and Asia Pacific quantitative strategist, reporting to Steve Heggarty, head of Asia Pacific research.

Deacons appoints partner in financial services
Hong Kong law firm Deacons announced the appointment of senior private equity lawyer Robert Woll as a partner in its financial services group.

Woll joins the financial services team of seven partners and 35 fee earners. He will cover financial institutions, private equity firms and institutional investors in Greater China and across Asia.

Woll was previously a partner at Wilmer Hale, where he was chair of the firm’s China corporate practice and co-managing partner of the firm’s Beijing office

Other people moves reported by AsianInvestor in the past week:

Tan Su Shan to head consumer banking at DBS

LGT launches flagship China office

Nomura reassigns equities CIO to head of Instinet