ANZ hires Asia wealth head from Barclays
Australasian bank ANZ has hired Bret Packard from Barclays as managing director for Wealth Asia. It comes after the bank announced deep staff cuts earlier this year.

Based in Singapore, Packard is due to take up the role in mid-October. “The purpose of [Packard’s] role is to build a strong wealth base in the region, leveraging ANZ’s investment capabilities and resources in our Asia wealth business,” says a spokeswoman for the firm.

ANZ moved to restructure its wealth management business this year under Joyce Phillips, whose title is global CEO of wealth and private banking.

An ANZ spokeswoman says Packard’s role is a new one within its restructured wealth business, but the firm has been losing senior staff. Nina Aguas was MD for Asia-Pacific private banking at ANZ but quit to become president and CEO of Philippine Bank of Communications.

Shortly afterwards Vineet Vohra also quit ANZ as Asia-Pacific general manager across wealth management, private and retail banking. He subsequently replaced Bruno Lee at HSBC.

In its most recent half-year results ANZ announced a 9% drop in profitability of its wealth business, while noting funds under management had grown 4%.

This February it announced plans to slash 1,000 staff in Australia in response to the business environment. The spokeswoman says 230 jobs had been cut from its wealth division by April.

Bank chief executive Mike Smith was quoted as saying: “I am somewhat frustrated by the traction that we have made in the wealth business; I feel that because we have got a disparate set of businesses that make up that wealth business in total, it has actually become somewhat fractured and difficult to manage.”

Packard takes up his role with ANZ after a six-year stint with Barclays, where most recently he worked as managing director for the group’s Southern Africa region. Prior to that, he spent 19 years working in wealth and retail banking at Citibank.

PineBridge bolsters Asian equities
PineBridge Investments has moved to bolster its Asian equities offering, announcing a new portfolio manager in Singapore and four equity analysts in Hong Kong.

Further, it revealed that Wilfred Son Keng Po, MD and portfolio manager previously based in the Philippines, had relocated to Hong Kong to oversee Asean equities portfolio management.

The firm’s new PM in Singapore is Kenneth Tang (pending MAS approval), who previously managed Asian and commodity long/short strategies for Black River Asset Management. He has also spent nine years with Amundi Asset Management (previously Credit Agricole AM).

The incoming analysts are Dennis Lam from Baron Asset Management, Kim-Peng Ang from IMC Investment, Jacob Lee from Deutsche Bank’s investment banking division and Samantha Kwong from Kim Eng.

AsianInvestor has reported expectations that Pinebridge was pulling back from the retail arena following the departure of Linda Luk, who recently joined Vanguard Investments. However, the firm has denied any such pull-back.

UBS poaches UHNW duo from Credit Suisse
UBS Wealth Management has hired two senior private bankers from rival Credit Suisse to cover the ultra-high-net-worth segment.

Both started in early September, Cindy Chang as managing director and UHNW cluster head in Hong Kong, and Stella Lau as an executive director and UHNW client adviser in Singapore. They report to Harry Pang, China team head for ultra-high-net-worth clients.

The new arrivals each have over 10 years’ private banking experience. Previously Chang was managing director and head of UHNW investment solutions at Credit Suisse, while Lau was director of UHNW client advisory at the same bank.

A spokesperson for Credit Suisse private bank in Singapore declined to comment on whether Chang and Lau had been replaced.

Coutts hires in Hong Kong, Middle East
Coutts made two announcements in the week, bringing in a new Asia head of treasury services and four private bankers to focus on the non-resident Indian (NRI) market in the Middle East.

Jonathan Lee started on September 19 as executive director in Hong Kong, with responsibility for development and delivery of the private bank’s treasury function in Asia. This includes balance sheet management, securities dealing and FX services.

He fills the hole left by Andreas Vogelsanger, who left Coutts mid-last year and is now based in Bangkok with multi-family office EVK Partners, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Lee reports to Ken Sue, Coutts’ Asia head of products and services, and Philipp Ackermann, MD for treasury services. Most recently Lee was head of treasury for Shanghai Pudong Development in Hong Kong. He has also worked at the Hong Kong Futures Exchange Clearing Corporation, JP Morgan, Bank of New York and China Construction Bank.

Separately, Coutts announced it had bolstered its Middle East team with four new hires. Rishi Mansukhani and Amit Tyagi have joined from HSBC’s private banking business, while Mahesh Ram arrives from ABN Amro and Jai Prakash Paliwal from ICICI Bank.

Mansukhani will co-lead the NRI team out of Dubai as an executive director. He was previously head of Western Gulf for HSBC private bank, and has also worked in the wealth management divisions of Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Merrill Lynch Dubai.

Last year Coutts announced plans to make 20 additional hires across the region within 12 months. The firm has seen executives come and go this year, as reported by AsianInvestor.

Robeco targets Australia sales growth
Netherlands-based asset manager Robeco announced the appointment of Brett Penprase from Partners Group to drive institutional and wholesale sales in Australia.

Based in Sydney, he started on September 1 and reports to Stephen Dennis, the firm’s director and head of distribution for Australia and New Zealand.

Robeco only opened its Australia office this March, and Dennis points to opportunities it sees in strategies including fundamental equities and CTAs.

Previously Penprase worked as assistant vice-president at Partners Group and investment specialist at Zurich Investments Australia.

Robeco had €179 billion ($232 billion) in AUM as at June 30 this year, of which it says half is institutional.

Blackpeak adds non-executive adviser
Asia-focused advisory firm Blackpeak announced the addition of Göran Seifert as an independent non-executive director based in Singapore.

Having started this month, Seifert’s role is to assist the group with strategic development and governance by bringing an experienced and independent voice, company co-founder Chris Leahy tells AsianInvestor.

He notes the firm is seeking to grow its headcount to 20 by year-end, from 17 now. It is hiring two in Shanghai, and is mulling whether to add elsewhere.

Seifert is a 25-year Asia management veteran who has held board roles with industrial businesses to build their Asia operations, including Philips Electronics and Ciments Français/Italcementi.

Originally from Sweden, he is also a private equity investor and adviser. His arrival at Blackpeak coincides with the group’s first year anniversary.

In that time Leahy says its risk consulting arm has completed 100 deals for over 50 businesses, including private equity firms, institutional investors and hedge funds. Its strongest area of focus has been Greater China.

While risk advisory has been busy, corporate finance work has been slower, with Leahy noting “transaction lead times are longer and successful completion less certain”. But he adds deals are in the pipeline.

Clifford Chance to relocate Hyde next year
Law firm Clifford Chance announced that Mark Hyde would relocate to Hong Kong next year to become its Asia Pacific finance practice area leader.

Hyde is global head of restructuring and insolvency and has worked in the region twice before. He will take additional responsibility for running the firm's restructuring and insolvency practice in Asia Pacific.

Huw Jenkins, who has led Clifford Chance's finance practice in Asia Pacific since 2001, will focus on worldwide projects as part of the firm's energy and infrastructure group, a statement confirms.

Citi hires Japan head of transaction services
US bank Citi has promoted Tim Tynan to head of its transaction services business in Japan.

Based in Tokyo, he started on September 3 and replaces Michael Reuben, who is moving elsewhere in the bank although his destination is yet to be finalised, a spokeswoman says. Tynan reports to Francesco Vanni d’Archirafi, chief executive of Citi Transaction Services (CTS).

Tynan is responsible for provision of cash management, trade, and securities and fund services to its Japanese clients. Most recently he was the chief operating officer for CTS in New York. He joined the bank in 2001 from IBM.

Citi says it is increasingly seeing Japanese companies going overseas, whether that is setting up manufacturing bases or trying to tap new markets for their products. “As they expand across the globe, their need for transaction services increases,” the spokeswoman notes.

CTS is a division of the bank’s institutional clients group. In the first half of this year it held an average of $396 billion in liability balances and over $12 trillion in assets under custody.

HKEx extends Charles Li’s contract
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing announced it had extended chief executive Charles Li’s contract for a further three years.

Its board of directors approved the renewal earlier this month and Li's contract will run until October 15, 2015. He joined HKEx in October 2009 and has been its CEO within three months. Prior to this, he was the Chairman of the JP Morgan’s China businesses.

Other people moves reported by AsianInvestor in the past week:

VTB Capital appoints Jim Rogers as PR adviser

ETF Securities set to launch in Hong Kong

Northern Trust seeks Asia-Pacific expansion

Pictet puts equity team in HK, builds in EM credit