SSgA loses South Asia MD
Janice Wu has left her role at State Street Global Advisors (SSgA), where she was managing director of its South Asia business and head of relationship management for Asia ex-Japan in Singapore.

It is understood she is moving to a new post, although AsianInvestor could not ascertain where by press time. Hon Cheung, Singapore-based regional director for the institutions group in Asia, will take over Wu's responsibilities.

Wu joined SSgA in 2006 to lead its business development efforts in North Asia. Previously she spent six years with BNP Paribas Asset Management Asia, developing its institutional business in Hong Kong and Macau.

Before that, she was part of a team that set up the investment banking operation of KGI Asia in 1997, where she was responsible for Taiwanese institutional and corporate investors.

She began her career on the foreign exchange desk of Morgan Stanley Asia in Hong Kong in 1993 before heading Asia Pacific sales, marketing and customer service at index provider MSCI.

Axa hires new head of Asian fixed income
France’s Axa Investment Management has hired Robert Andrew from Manulife Asset Management as its new head of Asian fixed income.

Andrew joined Axa IM based in Singapore this March and is responsible for building out the company’s regional fixed income capabilities, a spokeswoman tells AsianInvestor.

Andrew reports to Chris Iggo, global CIO for fixed income based in London. He comes in to replace Philip Chow, Axa's previous head of fixed income for Asia.

Previously Andrew was head of Asean investments for Manulife based in Hong Kong. A spokesman for the firm confirms Andrew left at the end of 2011.

Michael Dommermuth, president of international asset management overseeing investment activities outside of North America, has assumed Andrew’s responsibilities, AsianInvestor understands.

RBC WM continues to snag Sarasin talent
RBC Wealth Management continues to hire from Swiss private bank Sarasin – this time for its Indonesia team in what it says are newly created roles.

Samuel Witjaksono has been hired as an executive director, while Reto Caviezel and Kusnadi Sudikarman were both appointed as directors. The trio, who were all previously at Sarasin, are part of an Indonesian-focused sales team based in Singapore.

They all now report to Febby Avianto, market manager for Southeast Asia and another former Sarasin employee.

Sarasin did not respond to AsianInvestor requests for comment on whether Witjaksono, Caviezel and Sudikarman had been replaced.

The Royal Bank of Canada has been building out its wealth management offering, with several hires coming from Sarasin. Avianto, who was previously vice-chair of client advisory at Sarasin, joined RBC in March, as reported.

Further, Grace Barki, who was head of Southeast Asia at Sarasin for just over two years, joined RBC WM in August 2012 in a similar role. Avianto reports to Barki.

In late 2011, Brazil-based Safra Group agreed to acquire Rabobank’s controlling stake in Bank Sarasin & Cie for around $1.1 billion in a drive to expand its private banking presence in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. It purchased 68% of the voting rights and a 46% equity interest.

Pimco adds Japanese rates PM
Pimco has hired Ki Cho from Deutsche Bank as a Japanese interest rate portfolio manager.

He joined on May 1 and works out of Pimco’s Tokyo office, reporting to Tomoya Masanao, managing director and head of portfolio management for Japan.

Cho’s appointment means Pimco’s Japan fixed income portfolio management team is now three-strong.

The firm created his position to exploit opportunities in Japan’s fixed income markets on the back of new prime minister Shinzo Abe’s aggressive monetary easing and fiscal stimulus measures to boost economic growth.

“The Japanese rates market is making a very important secular shift and offering active investment opportunities following the recent policy regime change by the Bank of Japan,” Massano says.

Most recently Cho worked at Deutsche Bank, where he was a director and head of Japanese yen interest rate swap trading based in Tokyo. He has had experience with interest-rate swaps, basis swaps, swaptions and Japanese government bond options.

Deutsche Bank declined to comment on whether a replacement had been found for Cho.

Credit Suisse adds to fixed income team
Credit Suisse has hired Paul Gamble, former head of credit sales at Deutsche Bank, as a managing director in its Asia-Pacific fixed income team.

Based in Singapore, Gamble will primarily focus on distributing emerging markets financing products into hedge funds and mezzanine funds. He will report jointly to Carl Bautista, Asia-Pacific head of emerging markets credit, and Savady Yem, Asia-Pacific head of fixed income sales.

Gamble, who helped to build a hedge fund sales team at Deutsche, left in January as part of a reorganisation of its institutional client group.

Northern Trust appoints head for Hong Kong
Northern Trust has promoted Brian Ovaert from India to country manager for Hong Kong.

He oversees sales and relationship teams delivering services including global custody, fund administration, investment operations outsourcing and asset management solutions for institutional clients in the region.

He takes over some of the responsibilities previously held by William Mak, interim country head for Hong Kong. Mak remains country head for Singapore.

Ovaert has relocated to Hong Kong from Bangalore, where he was CEO of northern operating services, which is responsible for performing back- and middle-office investment services for Northern Trust clients.

In addition to his new responsibilities, Ovaert will remain in his existing role as Asia-Pacific regional head of operations and technology – a role he has been in since 2012. As Asia-Pacific regional head, he oversees teams in Singapore, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Bangalore.

Prior to his post in India, Ovaert has held a number of executive roles in London and Chicago, including senior business unit risk officer for O&T, European regional head of O&T and worldwide head of fund administration. He joined Northern Trust in 1992.

Mosur Saisekar has succeeded Ovaert as CEO of Northern Operating Services in Bangalore. Saisekar was previously senior vice president to its global fund services practice.

Edhec taps FTSE executive
Nice-based Edhec Risk Institute (ERI) has named Paul Hoff business development director for its alternative indexing offshoot Scientific Beta.

Hoff will promote its new smart-beta, or alternative indexing, platform out of its Tokyo office to institutional investors in Asia Pacific, primarily in Japan and Australia, where its pension funds have large passive investment components.

He joins from index provider FTSE, where he was most recently its Japan representative between January 2003 and June 2012. Yuji Ogino replaced him in mid-2012.

Hoff had previously served as managing director for Asia Pacific, as well as director for the joint venture FTSE Xinhua Index Company.

Carlyle names Indonesia buy-out head
The Carlyle Group has appointed Rajiv Louis as managing director on its Asia buyout team.

Louis will head the US private equity firm’s investment advisory activities in Indonesia. He is a 10-year veteran of UBS, most recently as managing director and head of investment banking in Indonesia and country head.

A Carlyle spokeswoman would not confirm whether Louis’s position is new.

Carlyle’s Asia buyout team has a 15-year history of making both control and significant minority investments in companies across Asia Pacific ex-Japan.

Carlyle has invested approximately US$11 billion in Asia Pacific through 2012.

Citi creates global chief strategist role
Citi Private Bank has named Steven Wieting global chief strategist in what is a newly created role.

Based in New York, Wieting will focus on providing investment recommendations to global clients, and aims to bring together regional chief investment strategists from the US, Europe and Asia Pacific. John Woods is the chief strategist for Asia Pacific.

Wieting will be chair of the global investment committee for Citi Private Bank, and joins the firm's investments leadership team. He reports to Eduardo Martinez Campos, global head of investments.

UBS opens HK office for charitable venture
Swiss bank UBS announced the opening of a Hong Kong office for its charitable Optimus Foundation, which aims to ensure children's health and safety for future development.

The UBS Optimus Foundation supports 127 projects globally, including 45 across Asia. It will use the new office to engage UBS clients and Asian families seeking philanthropic opportunities.

To date, it has received 18,000 donations, totalling SFr200 million, and supports more than 300 projects in 75 countries and regions, including China, Hong Kong, Indonesia and the Philippines.