Former Mirae chief resurfaces at Eastspring
Prudential-owned Eastspring Investments announced the appointment of Woong Park as chief executive of the group’s Korean asset management business.
He starts on October 8 to drive development in the firm’s institutional and retail business across Korea. He comes in to replace Wonki Lee, whom the firm says is taking a career break after leading the Korea business for two years.
Park reports directly to Graham Mason, Hong Kong-based chief executive of Eastspring Investments.
Most recently Park was CEO of Mirae Asset Global Investments (Hong Kong), the international AM business of Mirae Asset. However, he quit and exited on May 2 “for personal reasons” after just a year in the role, as reported by AsianInvestor. Mirae replaced him with Jung Ho Rhee.
Prior to that, Park was international chief marketing officer for Mirae in Korea, a role he held since 2010.
Just last month, Eastspring announced the appointment of Mark Yuen and Piers Wheeler to newly-created institutional sales roles for Southeast Asia and the Middle East, respectively.
Regional business development head quits UBS
Swiss bank UBS has lost another employee in its global real estate business, with its head of business development for Asia-Pacific, Richard Johnson, having quit, AsianInvestor can confirm.
It is understood he is moving to a global role at a competitor firm. Johnson is based in Hong Kong and has been with UBS handling capital-raising for global real estate funds since late 2010. Johnson had been reporting to Andreas Mondovits, who also quit earlier this year.
Last week AsianInvestor reported that UBS Asset Management had seen several departures from its global real estate business, including Jackson Lai who had been covering Asian RE securities.
UBS spokesman Mark Panday, based in Hong Kong, confirmed Johnson had quit and that the bank was looking for a replacement.
UBS Global Asset Management had $599 billion in invested assets as at June 30 this year, of which $111 billion (19%) was sourced from Asia-Pacific, by AsianInvestor numbers.
Pictet, BNPP join race for EM credit talent
The rush to add talent for emerging market fixed income shows no signs of abating, with both Pictet AM and BNP Paribas Investment Partners unveiling appointments on the same day.
Pictet has hired Alain Nsiona Defise from JP Morgan as head of emerging credit within its fixed income team based in London. He started his new role on September 25 to build emerging corporate business and heads a team of emerging credit analysts comprising Vincent Ferraton, Rosemary Fu and Teck Hoon Low.
When he was at JP Morgan, Defise was in charge of managing the emerging corporate franchise with a portfolio of over $2 billion. He has also worked at Fortis Investment.
Meanwhile, BNPP Investment Partners has hired a quartet from Rexiter Capital Management to cover EM fixed income for fully owned subsidiary Fischer Francis Trees & Watts (FFTW).
Leading the EM fixed income team is John Morton based in London, where he is joined by portfolio managers Mark Capstick and Daniel Wood, as well as Lewis Jones based in Boston.
They all started between July and October, having previously worked together at Rexiter Capital Management, a subsidiary of State Street Global Advisers.
Morton was previously CIO for fixed income at FFTW, before which he was director of global credit strategy at SSgA. Capstick will focus on Asian fixed income, while Wood will focus on Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa and Jones will look at Latin America.
FFTW specialises in managing US, global and EM fixed income strategies and had $56.2 billion in AUM as at the end of June. It says it is targeting $100 billion within five years.
These hires come as fund houses, including Aviva and Schroders, are allocating resources to emerging markets fixed income. This is backed up HSBC’s recent fund manager survey, which found a majority of AMs are intending to overweight Asian and EM bonds in the coming quarter.
Coutts names Asia head of NRI business
UK-based private bank Coutts announced the appointment of Puneet Matta in what it says is a newly created role as head of its Non-Resident India (NRI) business for Asia.
He started on October 3 based in Singapore, having previously been chief executive of Aon’s India business. Prior to that he was head of India wealth management for Credit Suisse and worked for Citibank in India.
It comes as the RBS-owned Coutts is striving to expand its NRI business, which it says has seen double-digit growth “over the past few years”. Just last month it announced four NRI hires in the Middle East.
“We continue to position ourselves to capture an even greater share of wallet as we continue to see healthy activity in this client segment and are targeting similar growth rates in future,” says a Coutts spokesman.
He describes the typical NRI client as having a three-pronged investment strategy: domestic affairs, such as mortgage and school fees; an India-centric focus; and a global wallet to chase yield.
Reliance Capital shuffles senior credit posts
India’s Reliance Capital Asset Management announced the appointment of Amit Tripathi in a new role as head of fixed income, based in Mumbai.
He is due to take up the position on November 1, succeeding Amitabh Mohanty, who is being promoted to head of debt strategies at parent group Reliance Capital.
In a statement, Reliance notes that at 28 years old, Tripathi becomes one of its youngest debt fund managers.
The announcement was made by Reliance Capital CEO Sam Ghosh and Reliance Capital AM CEO Sundeep Sikka.
Reliance Capital has interests in mutual funds, life insurance, general insurance and the government’s Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) schemes. The group manages fixed-income assets of $23.8 billion, of which Reliance Capital AM accounts for $9.7 billion.
China hedge fund association adds members
Lobby group the Shanghai Hedge Fund Association announced new group members in the form of Anthony D’Silva and Christian Stoiber.
D’Silva serves as managing director for Apex Investments / Apex Fund Services in Shanghai, while Stoiber is managing director at German group Aquila Capital and is managing the build-out of the group’s Asian operation.
Clark Song, the SHFA’s managing director, stresses its mission is to promote the business climate for hedge funds in Shanghai by acting as a networking group and engaging with regulators and policymakers in the city.
Just this March, AsianInvestor reported that foreign hedge funds would be able to register and raise renminbi funds in China under the new qualified domestic limited partner (QDLP) scheme in Shanghai, with an initial quota of $5 billion.
Malaysian pension administrator names new chief
Malaysia’s recently-established Private Pension Administrator (PPA) announced the appointment of Steve Ong Chong Gain as CEO, with effect from October 1.
Previously Ong was chief executive of ING Funds in Malaysia, a business he was entrusted to start up in 2003.
The PPA was established this July to administer, oversee and promote the growth and operation of the private retirement scheme (PRS) industry.
Trio join Japan real estate practice
Law firm Morrison and Foerster says it has added a partner and two associates to the real estate finance practice at its Japanese joint venture Ito and Mitomi.
Masahiro Shiga comes in as a partner to focus on fund formation and private equity, workouts and restructurings, distressed acquisition financing, Reits and real estate finance.
He is joined by associates Mori Inada and Mansu Pak, who were all most recently at law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom.
“[Shiga’s] arrival comes at a time of renewed investor confidence in Japan and increased attention to the potential value of distressed assets,” says a statement.
Other people moves reported by AsianInvestor in the past week: