GPIF appoints new investment committee head
Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) has named outspoken academic Yasuhiro Yonezawa to head its investment committee amid calls for a bolder investment strategy to increase returns in the bond-heavy $1.26 trillion retirement fund.

Waseda university professor Yasuhiro Yonezawa, who took up the additional role on Tuesday, replaces chairman University of Tokyo professor Kazuo Ueda, who had spent two years in the role.

Yonezawa’s appointment coincides with a drive by the world’s largest retirement fund to improve returns and make its first moves into alternative assets.

He holds views along the lines of those recommending a review of the fund's investment allocation, having been quoted as saying GPIF needs to cut its holdings of low-yielding Japanese government bonds.

The fund has already recently overhauled its equity portfolio, adding three benchmark indices for passive investments and unveiling 14 active and 10 passive investment managers.

TT International hires investment executives
UK boutique fund house TT International has hired two investment executives in Asia, saying they are "enhancements" to the team, but declining to clarify whether they have replaced anyone.

Marco Li has joined from Manulife Asset Management, where he worked for nine years as a senior investment analyst in their Asian equities team in Hong Kong. He also had regional responsibility for Australia, New Zealand and Greater China.
 
Duncan Robertson has joined as a senior investment analyst and portfolio manager, including coverage of Korea and Asean. He joins from the University Superannuation Scheme in the UK, where he was a senior portfolio manager focused on Asia.

The Asia headcount is 11-strong, but a spokesman declined to provide its AUM figure. The firm runs long-only and hedge fund strategies.

Manulife Teda chair passes away
Liu Hui Wen, chairman of Manulife Financial’s Chinese fund management joint venture, passed away on April 19. Media reports say he was found dead at his home, having committed suicide.

A Manulife spokeswoman declined to comment on media reports, saying: “We understand the cause of chairman Liu’s death is being investigated. We do not comment on speculation.”

Manulife Teda says it will announce a new chairman in ‘due course’, without giving a timeline.

AMP Capital adds in infrastructure sales
Australia’s AMP Capital has named Kate Campbell as institutional director for Europe, following the recent launch of two Ucits funds, one for infrastructure and one for real estate.

Reporting to Richard Shields, managing director for Europe, Middle East and Africa, she is expected to develop business with European institutional clients. She will work with Louisa Yeoman, institutional director for the UK.

Campbell takes up the newly created role to help raise money for the new Ucits platform and for AMP Capital’s unlisted infrastructure business. She will work with clients such as pension funds, insurers, private banks and multi-managers.

Campbell joins from JP Morgan, where she was executive director for capital introduction in prime brokerage. She has also worked at Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs.

JP Morgan did not respond to queries as to whether it is replacing Campbell.

Threadneedle names new Asia marcomms head
UK-based fund house Threadneedle Investments has appointed Grace Chow as Asia-Pacific head of marketing and communications.

Chow joins from rival Henderson Global Investors, where she held a similar role, and remains in Singapore.

She reports to Andrew Chan, chief administrative officer and head of product and business development for Asia Pacific. She will also report to Rupert Pybus, chief operating officer for distribution and Alison Jefferis, head of corporate communications.

The role is newly created, with Threadneedle’s regional marketing remit previously falling under James Lewis-Williams. He is now responsible for investment fund sales for Australia and Southeast Asia.

A source from Henderson says there is currently no replacement for Chow.

Other people moves reported this week on AsianInvestor.net:

First State adds in sales, eyes multi-asset push

Krung Thai AM to unveil new CEO