US manager hires CIC’s Chen as Asia head
US-based asset manager Perella Weinberg Partners announced it had hired Daniel Chen from Chinese sovereign fund CIC to head its Asia business out of Beijing.

Chen will seek to expand its presence in Asia and joins from CIC, where he played a key role in direct investments worldwide as senior vice-president of the special investment department. Prior to CIC, Chen was an associate in the M&A group at Sullivan and Cromwell in New York.

“We are focused on strategically expanding our geographic reach, enhancing our product offering and augmenting our professional talent,” says Joseph Perella, chairman and CEO of Perella Weinberg Partners. “Asia is an important business centre.”

Perella Weinberg’s asset management business has $9.1 billion in AUM. It covers a suite of hedge fund strategies, private investment funds (including real estate) and outsourced CIO solutions.

The firm's advisory arm advises on M&A, defence advisory, financial restructuring, private capital-raising and pension matters.

With 415 staff, the group has a presence in six cities in addition to its Beijing office, which opened last September. These are New York, London, Abu Dhabi, Denver, Austin and San Francisco.

When it announced its Beijing opening, Perella Weinberg Partners said that the office would be led by Naichen Shi, a managing director who joined the firm in November 2010. It added she would work closely with Peter Weinberg, head of corporate advisory, and Terry Meguid, head of asset management.

A spokesperson for the firm was unavailable at press time to confirm whether there had been any personnel changes, given Chen’s appointment.

UBS loses Apac head of client coverage
Swiss bank UBS is not saying whether it has lined up a replacement for Rami Hayek, who left his post in Hong Kong last week as its head of client coverage for Asia Pacific.

Hayek had been a managing director responsible for coordinating UBS’ business interests in investment banking, asset management and wealth management.

He only joined UBS early last year from Credit Suisse Asset Management, where he had worked for three years. He has also worked for Deutsche Bank and Barclays Wealth.

A spokesman for UBS in Hong Kong declined to comment on a potential replacement for Hayek or his reasons for leaving.

Rumours rife over CEO switch at HSBC Jintrust
Taiwanese media report that HSBC is set to switch the CEO of its Chinese joint venture Jintrust to run its asset management business in Taiwan, with the bank refusing to confirm or deny this.

The Commercial Times in Taiwan has claimed Steve Lee, chief executive of Jintrust Fund Management, will be appointed CEO of HSBC Global Asset Management (Taiwan).

Peiyu Lee is serving as acting CEO of the Taiwanese business at present, but will revert to COO once a replacement is found, AsianInvestor understands. It comes after former CEO Andrew Chen quit on October 19 to pursue opportunities outside the group.

A spokeswoman HSBC Global Asset Management (Taiwan) declined to comment, while in an emailed statement Jintrust Fund Management said: “The company is running smoothly. If any changes happen, Jintrust will announce it under the requirements of the CSRC.”

Under mainland Chinese regulation, senior managers at FMCs require a three-month silence period before any job changes can be confirmed.

Chinese finance magazine Moneyweek has reported that Zhao Lin, COO of HSBC Jintrust, will replace Lee as CEO, quoting unnamed sources.

Since Jintrust was established in 2005, it has consistently been ranked in the 40s by AUM. To date it has Rmb8.2 billion and sits in 48th place. Rivals that set up in the same year have broken the Rmb10 billion barrier including ICBC Credit Suisse, Bank of Communications Schroder and Huashang, according to Moneyweek.

Lee has spent the past seven years as CEO of HSBC Jintrust. Previously he was head of HSBC’s regional development and China business in Hong Kong and head of business development at JP Morgan Asset Management. He has also worked at Jardine Fleming Securities in Taiwan.

Leopard Capital hires Cambodia CIO
Frontier market firm Leopard Capital has hired Richard Intrator as managing partner and CIO for Cambodia, based in Phnom Penh.

The firm manages private and public equity investments and runs Cambodia’s first investment fund, the $34 million Leopard Capital Fund, launched in 2008.

Intrator, who reports to founder and CEO Douglas Clayton, will look after portfolio companies for the fund, which to date has made 14 investments and three exits.

“We hope to make better than average PE returns,” Intrator says, without specifying. But in a 2010 interview Clayton said he “aimed to deliver an IRR of 30% in our investments in all frontier markets we enter”.

Intrator, who was previously executive in residence at Stamford International University (Thailand), has been brought in to replace Scott Lewis, who quit to become head of corporate finance at Oryx Petroleum in Geneva, but remains a consultant partner of the firm.

Through its Asia Frontier Fund, the firm invests in public equities in 12 Asian frontier markets. It also runs a Haiti fund, which completed its first closing of $20 million in July.

Chase hires to meet expected M&A demand
Australia’s Chase Corporate Advisory says it has created two new roles to meet demand for expected consolidation activity in the domestic financial services sector.

The firm announced the appointment of Chris Jordan as executive chairman and Andrew Gale as executive director, with both starting last month based in Sydney.

“There is expected to be continued strong consolidation of AFSL [Australian Financial Services Licence] licensees, driven largely by regulatory reform and strong consolidation in both the funds management sector and superannuation funds sector,” comments Gale.

Chase typically acts on behalf of vendors or entities looking to sell, change ownership structure or merge. Its clients would include financial planning practices, licencees, fund managers and superannuation funds.

Jordan most recently retired as senior partner and chairman of accountant KPMG New South Wales. He is still the government’s chief external tax adviser and chairman of the government’s business tax working group and taxation board in Australia.

Gale joins from advisory firm Count Financial, where he was most recently CEO of the listed company. Previously he was managing partner at Deloitte Actuaries and Consultants and president of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia in 2005.

Aprea names Singapore chapter chairman
The Asia Pacific Real Estate Association (Aprea) announced the appointment of Andy Tan Chye Guan in a newly created role as chairman of its Singapore chapter.

Tan, who will serve concurrently as president of MEAG Pacific Star Asset Management, began his new Aprea role on June 1. It comes after a governance restructuring within Aprea following the appointment of Lim Swe Guan as chairman of its board of directors.

The lobby group promotes Asian real estate for its members, including institutional investors and fund managers. It has over 180 corporate members globally managing funds of over $1 trillion.

BlackRock hires Asia head of comms
BlackRock announced the appointment of Rowena Kwok from Fidelity as head of corporate communications for Asia ex-Japan based in Hong Kong.

Kwok started on September 11 and reports functionally to Jim Badenhausen, head of global corporate communications and regionally to Damien Mooney, Asia Pacific chief marketing officer.

Kwok left Fidelity on August 31 after six years. She was most recently head of corporate communications in Hong Kong. An announcement on her replacement at Fidelity will be made in due course, according to a company spokeswoman.

It comes after previous incumbent Katherine Cheung quit BlackRock in April. It has been reported she has since joined Crossgate Advisors as an advisor.

Cheung previously worked in distribution and marketing with BlackRock and at Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, which was bought by BlackRock in 2006.

AlixPartners expands Shanghai office
Business advisory firm AlixPartners has hired two directors in its Shanghai practice as part of its expansion in Asia.

Rong Wang and Kiyoun Cho joined in July and August, respectively, within its enterprise improvement practice. They report to Ivo Naumann, who heads the firm’s Shanghai office.

Before joining AlixPartners, Wang worked in consultancies including AT Kearney in Europe and Asia and Riccardo Strategic Consulting in Shanghai. Cho had 11 years experience at AT Kearney in Korea and China and eight years at Korea’s Kia Motors.

AlixPartners’ clients include legal firms, private equity firms and corporations, which seek the group’s services in four major areas, including enterprise improvement, turnaround and restructuring, financial advisory services and information management services.

AlixPartners has recently made senior hires across its different lines of businesses, including in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Seoul.