Eastspring appoints sales duo to build business.
Asset manager Eastspring Investments announced the appointment of Mark Yuen and Piers Wheeler in newly created sales roles as part of a drive to build its institutional business.

Both joined as directors in the past two months, Yuen as head of sales for Southeast Asia in Singapore and Wheeler with responsibility for developing the firm’s institutional business in the Middle East and new markets.

Yuen was previously head of business development for Hong Kong and Southeast Asia at Robeco, prior to which he was regional head of sales, marketing and client relations for Southeast Asia at Credit Agricole AM.

Wheeler formerly worked as head of institutional business in the Middle East for AMP Capital. He has also worked as head of capital markets for DTZ based in Bahrain.

These appointments follow the launch of Eastspring Investments’ US business in Chicago, through which it aims to capture interest in the Asia growth story among global investors.

Eastspring Investments is the recently rebranded asset management arm of Prudential Corporation Asia. It had $85 billion in AUM as at June 30 this year.

Blackstone adds Carnegie as senior adviser
PE group Blackstone has made a senior appointment in James Carnegie from Australia’s Archer Capital. Based in Sydney, he joins as a senior adviser to focus on PE activity in the country.

Michael Chae, Blackstone’s head of private equity for Asia Pacific, describes Australia as a strategic market for Blackstone and says the firm is committed to building local capabilities.

Most recently Carnegie was a partner with Sydney-based Archer Capital, but left this June after a seven-year stint. Prior to that, he worked at Macquarie Capital in its principal investment area.

Last October the group bought in Paul Costello, who had worked at Australia’s Future Fund, as a non-executive chairman.

The group’s arm in China also hired senior executives from rivals recently, including Ed Huang and Yi Luo, who are now managing director for China and senior managing director, respectively. Huang joined from Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia, while Yi was from Carlyle Group.

In 2009, Blackstone partnered the Pudong district government to raise a Rmb5 billion RMB-denominated fund that invests in firms based in Shanghai’s Pudong New Area. 

Allianz replaces Asia head of life insurance
Allianz has announced the appointment of Saloon Tham from Ace Life Assurance as regional head of life insurance, effective from October 1.

Tham will lead the group’s life business across nine Asian markets and comes in to replace Peter Huber, who had been in the role for just a year-and-a-half. On August 1 Huber began his new role as global head of life and health distribution propositions at rival Swiss Re in Zurich.

In an emailed statement, Huber says he joined Swiss Re because of the opportunity to develop strategy from greenfield and for family reasons.

Tham will report to Allianz’ regional CEO David Fried, who points to a growing need for old-age provision, savings and health-care products within emerging markets.

Previously Tham was regional president at Ace Life Assurance. He has also worked at New York Life Insurance and Huatai Insurance (General) Company in the US and Asia.

Axa reassigns global distribution head to Hong Kong
Axa Hong Kong announced the transfer of Xavier Lestrade to what it says is a newly created position as chief distribution officer for its life insurance arm in the city.

Lestrade started in his role on August 21 in Hong Kong, having previously been the firm’s global head of group distribution in France. He now reports to Stuart Harrison, CEO of Axa Hong Kong.

A group spokeswoman tells AsianInvestor that Axa Hong Kong is seeking to professionalise its distribution team, with the heads of various distribution channels now reporting to Lestrade.

He has worked at Axa Group for over 18 years, including in Canada and France, with experience in strategy and governance, sales and distribution, product development, M&A and actuary.

RBS hires BNPP trio for markets strategy team
The Royal Bank of Scotland has hired Drew Brick, Rob Ryan and Gao Qi from BNP Paribas for its Asia-Pacific markets strategy team based in Singapore.

The trio started two weeks ago. Brick is managing director and head of the team, providing research and trading ideas across G10 and Asian currencies and rates, while Ryan is director and Gao vice-president. 

Brick was head of currency and interest-rate strategy at BNP Paribas, a position he also held previously at Morgan Stanley. He has also been a founding partner of US hedge fund GreenRidge Asset Management and portfolio manager at Pimco.

Ryan is responsible for forming currency views and generating FX trading ideas. Most recently he worked as currency strategist at BNP Paribas. Gao covers Asia FX and interest rate strategies, having held a similar role at BNPP.

A spokesperson for BNP Paribas confirmed that the trio resigned in May and that their vacancies had yet to be filled.

AlixPartners names new directors in Tokyo, HK
Business advisory firm AlixPartners announced the appointment of two new directors to focus on financial services in Asia.

Makoto Ikeya joined on July 7 in Tokyo and reports to managing director Nobuo Mori, and Neill Poole started on September 1 in its regional Hong Kong headquarters reporting to MD Rob Morris.

Ikeya previously worked for Nera Economic Consulting in Tokyo, where he focused on securities and commercial litigation support, transfer pricing and intellectual property. Poole was formerly Asia head of forensic and dispute services at Alvarez and Marsal.

AlixPartners has about 60 staff in Asia, a third of whom are based in Hong Kong, with the rest in Korea, China, Japan and Singapore. The firm has been present in the Japanese market for eight years and China for five. Earlier this month it announced two new hires in its Shanghai practice.

Other people moves reported by AsianInvestor in the past week:

Discretionary management on rise: ABN Amro

US private equity firm sets up Hong Kong office

Mercer sets sights on growth markets

BlackRock revamps Asia distribution team

Vanguard picks up Luk from Pinebridge