Former superannuation minister to advise Citi
Citi Transaction Services has named former Australian superannuation minister and senator Nick Sherry as a senior adviser to the group’s securities and fund services (SFS) unit.

Sherry started this week in this newly-created position in Sydney, with a remit to advise on products and strategy across Asia-Pacific and work closely with SFS head Martin Carpenter and team.

A Citi spokeswoman says it is targeting super funds, fund managers, insurance companies and wealth management entities with its services, providing custody and fund admin along with its other platform offerings, including capital markets and banking solutions, both locally and offshore.

“[We are] broadly targeting all funds in Australia,” she notes. “However, we are focusing on names where we believe there is a good fit in terms of their needs and our capabilities.

“Asian fund managers are looking to learn from the Australian funds market, which is the largest in Asia-Pacific ex-Japan and the fourth largest globally. So there’s a lot of learning from that market. [Sherry’s] previous role as a minister has given him a lot of insight [into the industry].”

Previously Sherry chaired the Senate Committee on Superannuation and was minister for superannuation as well as Australia’s first minister for superannuation and corporate law.

Citi hosted a superannuation forum in Australia this July, as reported, which saw attendance from senior executives from public pension funds across the region including Don Yeo, deputy CEO of Singapore’s Central Provident Fund, and Yu Gesheng, vice-chairman of China’s National Council of Social Security Fund.

Henderson hires Gaden from Challenger
UK-based Henderson Global Investors has named Matt Gaden from Challenger as head of distribution for its Australian business.

Gaden is set to join early next year and will be responsible for distributing Henderson’s investment capabilities across retail and institutional markets.

He will be rejoining former colleague Rob Adams, who only started in May as executive chairman of Henderson Australia. Adams used to be chief executive of Challenger’s fund management business, as reported. He has been replaced by Robert Woods.

“The development of a pure funds management business in Australia is part of Henderson’s strategy to grow its footprint in high-value markets in the Asia-Pacific region, including China, Japan and Australia,” Adams tells AsianInvestor.

Gaden, meanwhile, will work out his notice period as general manager for institutional business and strategic alliances at Challenger.

In a separate interview, Henderson’s managing director for Asia, Alexander Henderson, talked of his expansion plans for the region, particularly on the need to build more Asian products tailored to Asian investors.

Newedge names ex-US defence officer as chief China rep
Multi-asset brokerage Newedge has announced the appointment of Daniel McGowan as China chief representative, replacing Dean Owen who left to pursue other interests.

McGowan started in Shanghai this week and is responsible for driving the group’s China business and expanding its China JV Citic Newedge Futures. He reports to Asia-Pacific chief executive Laurent Cunin.

“The Chinese commodities futures market is currently the largest in the world with strong potential for continued growth; we also see increasing interest across other classes,” says McGowan.

Most recently he was at consultancy firm Sino Ventures in the US, before which served as an intelligence officer and senior Chinese linguist at the US Department of Defence.

Newedge holds a 42% stake in a joint venture with Citic Futures.

Moelis signs Colless for Aussie property fund
US boutique investment bank Moelis appointed Richard Colless as non-executive chairman of the group’s soon-to-be-launched Australia property visa fund, a spokeswoman confirms.

Colless will be based in Sydney and is expected to work with the group’s Beijing and Hong Kong offices. He was most recently chairman of ING Real Estate in Australia, but resigned in late 2010 amidst rumours that the unit was to be sold.

His responsibility as non-executive chairman will see him preside over the fund, whose launch is planned to coincide with the Australian government’s recently announced Significant Investor Visa scheme, which comes into effect on November 24.

Those who invest $5 million in Australia will be granted a four-year temporary visa with two possible two-year extensions. The group is anticipating strong interest from Chinese and other Asian investors, says managing director Andrew Martin.

The move follows in the footsteps of Australian fund manager Centuria Capital, which has opened a rep office in Singapore to tap Asian institutions looking to invest in Australian property.

Capital markets body names new officers
The board of directors at the Asia Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (Asifma) has elected new officers for the following year.

Taking over as chairman is David Ratliff, Asia-Pacific head of investor sales and relationship management at Citi. He will guide its activities in relation to institutional equities and Chinese markets.

The association has also appointed two vice-chairmen: James Shipton, head of the office of government affairs at Goldman Sachs (covering government relations, Southeast Asia activity); and Christopher Jackson, COO of the Asia fixed income division at Morgan Stanley (fixed income and Korean market activities).

The association has created a new equities division and formed committees to address post-trade and compliance issues. It is also expanding its coverage to address issues affecting capital markets in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore and other Asean markets.

It strives to communicate Asian perspectives in the global dialogue surrounding financial regulatory reform.

Additionally representatives of Bank of China, DBS and Standard Chartered were elected to Asifma’s executive committee.

Litigation boutique adds five hires
Law firm Kobre and Kim has appointed five new litigators to its international judgement enforcement practice in Asia and the Caribbean.

The new appointments, listed below, have start dates ranging from October to December. The firm serves clients including hedge funds, private equity houses and other asset managers in disputes relating to financial products, contractual matters and joint-venture partners.

Its international judgement enforcement practice assists clients in locating and seizing debtor assets in both onshore and offshore jurisdictions. It also acts to defend debtors, trustees and protectors against asset recovery actions.

Kobre and Kim says it is seeing increased demand for litigation and arbitration in onshore and offshore jurisdictions. “Asia investment in the US is up over 400% since 2008, and Chinese companies frequently use Cayman and BVI structures to carry out those investments,” says Kobre and Kim partner William McGovern.

The appointments are: Shaun Wu in Hong Kong, formally of King and Spalding; Stephen Leontsinis in the Caymans from Conyers Dill and Pearman; Robin Rathmell in New York/London from Serle Court in London; Peter Tyers-Smith in BVI from No 5 Chambers in London; and Philippa McFarlane Ebanks in the Caymans from Bodden and Bodden.

Other people moves reported by AsianInvestor in the past week:

Principal GI plays down disruption after EM exits

Two Asia-Pacific strategy chiefs move on

McCombe to take over key clients at BlackRock

QIC signs Ieong as senior China adviser