Aviva Investors bolsters real estate arm
UK-based Aviva Investors announced the appointment of Benjamin Aiken from Macquarie Capital as head of business development for Asia-Pacific real estate.

Aiken started on October 10 based in Singapore and is responsible for developing real estate client and consultant relationships and growing the real estate business in the region. He reports to Ian Hally, the firm’s CEO of Asia Pacific real estate.

He comes in to replace Tinchuk Ng, who left Aviva Investors a year ago and is now executive vice-president at China-based real estate developer Easternflair.

Recent analyst additions to Aviva’s Asian real estate team include Bryan Lim from RBS Singapore, where he was an equity research analyst, and Dennis Wong from LaSalle Investment Management, where he had a research focus.

Aviva Investors, which is the $439 billion asset management business of UK insurer Aviva, manages $2 billion in Asia-Pacific real estate assets through its funds.

AEW hires trio from rival in Asia push
Real estate investor AEW Capital Management hired a senior trio from rival DTZ including a new head of Asia as it strives to expand its capabilities in the region.

David Schaefer was named Asia head in a replacement role. He is joined by industry veterans Jason Lee, as director and CIO of AEW Asia in a newly created role, and Michael Moon as associate director and country manager for Korea.

In an email to AsianInvestor, AEW chief executive Jeff Furber notes that Lee’s role was created “to expand our acquisitions capability in the region”.

On Moon’s hire, he adds: “[This] is a new position that was created in response to our desire to expand our expertise into the strong Korean real estate market and pursue investment opportunities there.”

AEW has about $2 billion in AUM in Asia, including private money and assets in its securities portfolios, out of a global figure of $45 billion. The firm says it plans to launch a successor fund to AEW Value Investors Asia early next year with a $500 million fundraising target.

The AEW Value Investors Asia has made investments including office, industrial and retail properties in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and China.

Prior to joining AEW Capital Management, Schaefer was global head of institutional capital and Asia-Pacific head for DTZ Investment and Asset Management. Before that he was Asia-Pacific head at Citi Property Investors and has also worked for Macquarie Bank and as senior adviser to the Schroder Asian Properties Fund.

Lee was previously fund manager and CIO at DTZ. He has also been director of Merrill Lynch’s Asia Opportunistic Real Estate Fund and the Global Principal Investments Group.

Moon was formerly head of Korean Investment at DTZ, and has also worked as director and head of Macquarie Real Estate Korea.

BNPP adds in client servicing
BNP Paribas Wealth Management strengthened its Asia team with the appointments of two regional heads and two seniors in its key client group division.

Brian Kenyon started in Singapore on August 1 as regional head of wealth planning solutions for Asia Pacific, expanding on his previous role as Asia head of trust and structuring administration.

Prior to his current role, he was managing director of BNP Paribas’ Singapore Trust Company and chairman of the Jersey Trust Corporation, also part of the bank.

Berry Wong joined BNPP on October 3 as regional head of wealth planning services based in Hong Kong, having previously served as senior director of wealth management at HSBC Private Bank. He reports to Kenyon and came in to replace Julie Teo, who quit BNPP on July 31.

Additionally, Anton Wong and Angela Yang were named head of the key clients group for Asia Pacific and key clients solutions manager, respectively, both based in Hong Kong.

Wong’s role is an expanded one, with his old title being managing director for the key clients group. He joined the group last year from Credit Suisse Private Bank, where he was director of the bank’s Solutions Partners operation.

Yang, who reports to Anton Wong, was previously a relationship manager at Citi Private Bank servicing ultra-high-net-worth clients.

Separately, BNPP Investment Partners announced that it had launched advisory services partner FundQuest Advisor and named Stéphane Pouchoulin as CEO of the new entity.

Based in France, the UK and Singapore, FundQuest Advisor comprises 28 professionals with experience in advisory services, and covers over 30 asset classes and 400 selected funds.

It says that portfolios managed previously by FundQuest have been transferred to its global balanced solutions team, which deals in multi-asset solutions.

Pouchoulin has been director of FundQuest since 2010. He started as a broker with BNP Paribas Equities in 2001 and moved to BNP Paribas Inspection Générale in 2005 responsible for international projects in corporate and investment banking and asset management.

UBS GAM creates pan-Asia fixed income role
UBS Global Asset Management hired Alton Gwee from Coutts in a newly created role as pan-Asia fixed income capability manager. It comes as managers have upped their EM credit hires.

Gwee joined UBS on October 15 based in Singapore in a client-facing, portfolio management role within a 12-strong team. He reports to James Blair, a fixed income investment specialist with UBS GAM in Sydney.

Previously he worked at Coutts in Singapore, where he was responsible for portfolio management, sales and client service for private clients. He has also held investment roles in the Asian fixed income team at Aberdeen Asset Management.

Threadneedle bolsters in fixed income
UK-based investment manager Threadneedle announced the appointment of John Peta to co-lead the group’s emerging market debt team along with Henry Stipp, an EM fund manager.

Based in London, Peta joined on October 15 and reports to head of fixed income Jim Cielinski. Peta will oversee its local currency emerging market debt, which includes bonds from Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia. In total Threadneedle manages $2.9 billion in EM debt.

The duo is also tasked with leading Threadneedle’s eight-strong EM macroeconomic strategy group, formulating investment strategy across its range of fixed income products.

It comes as the group adds resources to its fixed income team: Tammie Chan as a fund manager from Pembroke Managing Agency; Ryan Staszewski as a corporate credit analyst from JP Morgan; and James Waters as a fixed income specialist from Goldman Sachs AM.

Additionally, the group hired Singapore-based Clifford Lau as head of Asia-Pacific fixed income this June to oversee its $1 billion in Asian debt.

Threadneedle’s fixed income team comprises 48 investment professionals across emerging and developed markets. It managed $46 billion in assets by the end of this June, about 6% of which is invested in emerging markets.

NAB appoints new Asia CEO
National Australia Bank (NAB) announced the appointment of Spiro Pappas as its new chief executive for Asia to accelerate growth of the bank’s business in Asia.

Pappas actually started his role in July based in Singapore, taking over from Rob Wright who had been based in Hong Kong, although the announcement was only made this week.

Pappas joined NAB in Australia in 2009 as head of the institutional bank with global responsibility covering large corporate, multinationals, commercial real estate, government and education sectors and acquisition and advisory business.

NAB’s core branches in Asia are in Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan, where it offers personal, wholesale and institutional banking.

A big part of its regional plans is helping Asia-facing Australian businesses to connect with Asia, as well as clients in Asia that may want to invest in Australia and New Zealand.

For personal and private banking it focuses on cash management and currency solutions via deposits and property financing locally and overseas.

In Hong Kong NAB has a wholly owned subsidiary Calibre Asset Management, which offers wealth and portfolio management, financial planning and advisory and retirement planning.

Asked about its ambitions for Asia, an NAB spokeswoman replies that the bank sees itself as strong in sectors such as resources, energy and utilities, as well as agribusiness, consumer health care and diversified industrials.

“Because of the strategic relationship between Asia and Australia, we believe that if anyone wants to do business in Australia we are a natural choice,” she says. “Unlike other banks which might be here [in Asia] to be all over the place, we tend to take a more focused approach.”

In the same announcement, NAB revealed its head of consumer sector, David Thorn, would relocate from Sydney to Hong Kong in December this year, becoming the first global industry sector head in the institutional banking division to be based in Asia.

He will support NAB’s business customers, particularly in food and beverage production and related agricultural sectors.

Other people moves reported by AsianInvestor in the past week:

First State loses Asia head of fixed income

Swiss bank eyes Asia institutions, retail market

Qatar sovereign fund poaches from White & Case