Weekly roundup of people moves, July 26
Lim Boon Heng named chairman of Temasek
Temasek Holdings has appointed Lim Boon Heng as chairman, replacing S Dhanabalan.
Lim joined the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund's board last year after retiring from a 30-year political career that included senior cabinet positions and leadership of Singapore’s Trades Union Congress. He will take up the new role on August 1.
Like Lim, Dhanabalan was also a former cabinet minister. He is retiring as Temasek’s longest-serving chairman after 17 years, and will become an honorary adviser after stepping down.
Dhanabalan has presided over a strong period of growth. During the past 10 years, Temasek has generated an annual total shareholder return of 13%, though recent years have fallen below that trend.
Earlier this month, Temasek’s 2013 review showed that its portfolio had grown to a record S$215 billion ($173 billion), an increase of S$17 billion from the previous fiscal year. Total shareholder return was 8.86%, a marked improvement over 1.5% from the previous year.
Notable investments included stakes in AIA, Ping An Insurance, ICBC, Alibaba Group, Olam, Matahari Putra Prima and Matahari Department Store.
Lim does not have a financial background and is unlikely to have much direct input on investment decisions. He started his career at shipping company Neptune Orient Lines and later served on the board of Singapore Airlines. As chairman, he will help Temasek “to remain relevant in a volatile world”, as Dhanabalan puts it.
During his parliamentary career, Lim was deputy speaker of parliament from 1989 to 1991. He took on his first ministerial appointment in 1991, representing trade and industry, and went on to hold several cabinet positions in the Singapore government, including in the prime minister’s office, until his retirement from politics in 2011.
L&G IM hires ex-State Street MD
UK firm Legal & General Investment Management has received the appropriate licence to begin fund distribution in Hong Kong, and hired Janice Wu, a former State Street Global Advisors managing director, to oversee the expansion in the region.
Wu joined L&G IM earlier this week as head of Asia-Pacific sales and distribution, taking over the role vacated by Richard Surrency in January and reporting to L&G IM regional head Alan Flynn.
At State Street, Wu was managing director of the firm’s South Asia business and head of relationship management for Asia ex-Japan. Before that, she worked at BNP Paribas Asset Management.
Hon Cheung has assumed Wu's old role in addition to his existing responsibilities as regional director of the firm's institutions group in Asia Pacific, a spokeswoman says.
L&G IM, which manages $670 billion, was mulling establishing a presence in Asia in late 2011. It set up an office in August 2012, and hired Surrency to oversee sales and distribution. He joined from Morgan Stanley, where he ran its regional transition management business out of Singapore.
He left after only seven months to join alternatives manager Algebris Investments. At the time, sources said L&G IM was unable to approach potential clients due to delays in receiving the appropriate licence from Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission.
Earlier this week, the UK firm received its type 1 licence, which allows for product sales and distribution. A spokeswoman says receiving this licence is an important “first step” in the region, and notes the firm’s Hong Kong office will solely be used for sales and distribution for now, but will eventually expand into investment management. She declined to offer a timeframe.
L&G IM invests across a variety of asset classes including equities, fixed income, property and liquidity management, with expertise in index and asset-allocation products. Its parent, insurer L&G Group, provides liability-driven investment, multi-asset and other tailored ideas for UK pension funds.
Bosera appoints new GM
China fund house Bosera Asset Management has appointed Wu Yaodong as its new general manager to replace He Bao, who resigned in May citing personal reasons. Chairman Yang Kun has been acting general manager since then.
Wu previously spent over 10 years at Merchant Securities, which with 49% is Bosera’s largest shareholder. Wu held a variety of positions at Merchant Securities, including deputy general manager and director of international business at its Hong Kong subsidiary.
At the end of June, Bosera’s mutual funds oversaw Rmb106.5 billion ($17.6 billion), while the firm’s total assets were Rmb220 billion as of March.
Bosera is one of China’s largest fund houses. It oversees an external product for the National Council for Social Security Funds.
RBC WM poaches more Sarasin talent
The wealth management arm of the Royal Bank of Canada continues to grab talent from Swiss private bank Sarasin – this time for newly created positions in Singapore.
Tuti Go, Paulus Moniaga and Johannes Wijaya joined RBC WM in the Lion city as senior directors focused on building the firm’s client base in the region. The three previously worked at Sarasin in Singapore for nearly four years, says an RBC spokesman.
A Sarasin spokeswoman says the three left over a year ago, but declined to offer any detail on their roles or whether they had been replaced.
Before joining Sarasin, Go and Wijaya had been with UBS, while Moniaga worked at Nomura.
At RBC WM, Go and Wijaya report to Samuel Witjaksono, executive director for Southeast Asia, and Moniaga reports to Kusnadi Sudikarman, senior director of Southeast Asia.
Go, Moniaga and Wijaya are the latest three to join RBC WM from Sarasin, following the addition of an Indonesia-focused sales team earlier in May.
In February, RBC WM named Febby Avianto as market manager in Singapore. Avianto was previously vice-chair of client advisory for Southeast Asia at Sarasin, having started out as its Indonesia head in 2009. He reports to former Sarasin colleague Grace Barki, who joined RBC WM in August 2012.
Nelson Ilham also joined RBC WM in Singapore this week as head of fixed income advisory and execution. Nelson reports to Mary Sumners, head of investments in Asia. He previously worked at Hong Leong Bank.
Senrigan Capital hires Citi trader
Anthony Bongiorno has joined Hong Kong-based hedge fund Senrigan Capital as head trader. He will work alongside founder and chief investment officer Nick Taylor, with whom he has worked before.
Most recently Bongiorno was head of cash trading at Citigroup Australia, in charge of execution and management of client flows, facilitation, market-making and trading. He then spent a year at hedge fund Dragonback Capital as a senior portfolio manager.
Bongiorno replaces former head trader John Tompkins at Senrigan, who could not be reached for comment by press time. Senrigan could also not be reached for comment.
Bongiorno and Taylor worked together first in 2004 at Credit Suisse in Australia, with Bongiorno a proprietary trader reporting to Taylor, who was at the time head of Asia-Pacific proprietary trading.
Then in 2007, Bongiorno moved to Hong Kong to work at Modal Capital Partners, an in-house hedge fund at Credit Suisse overseen by Taylor. Bongiorno oversaw all trading for the fund.
Allianz GI names EM debt specialist
Allianz Global Investors has appointed Greg Saichin as head of global emerging market debt, a newly-created position.
Saichin will join the firm’s London office this September and report directly to Andreas Utermann, co-head and global chief investment officer.
While its investment team will be primarily based in London, Allianz GI plans to expand into New York and possibly Singapore, a spokesman says. In June, global chief executive Elizabeth Corley discussed how the firm has been building out its pan-Asian fixed income capabilities in Singapore.
Saichin previously oversaw emerging markets and high-yield fixed-income portfolio management at Pioneer Investments.
The German firm managed €316 billion ($419 billion) in AUM as of March, with some 38% allocated to equities, 41% to fixed income and 21% to multi-asset investments.
Barings names head of marketing
UK firm Baring Asset Management has hired Anne Lui as head of marketing for Asia ex-Japan.
Based in Hong Kong, Lui reports to Claire Fraser, head of marketing and communications in London.
Lui replaces Eunice Tan, who worked at Barings for a year or so before leaving in April. A spokeswoman declined to comment on his future plans.
Lui joins from Hong Kong-based asset manager Value Partners, where she was head of marketing and communications. She previously oversaw corporation communications for Greater China at Nomura (and formerly Lehman Brothers), eventually getting promoted to head of business media relations for Asia ex-Japan.
Value Partners did not provide a response by press time as to whether the firm has found a replacement for Lui.
Aussie fund house Acorn Capital adds PM
Melbourne fund house Acorn Capital has hired Paul Quah as a portfolio manager and analyst for its Asia small-cap fund.
Quah will relocate to Melbourne from Hong Kong where he spent six years at broker CLSA Asia Pacific as head of regional small mid-cap research. Before CLSA, he worked at Macquarie Securities in Hong Kong as deputy head of small-cap research, and before that at UBS Securities in Sydney as an analyst.
Quah replaces Victor Lai, who left the firm recently and whose future plans could not be ascertained. A spokeswoman declined to comment on his departure.
Quah reports to Douglas Loh, chief operating officer and head of Asia at Acorn. As of June, Acorn’s AUM totalled A$1 billion ($926 million).
Newedge appoints Wang as FX head
Brokerage firm Newedge hired Jennifer Wang as head of foreign exchange sales in Greater China, a newly-created position.
Wang joins Newedge’s Hong Kong office, and will coordinate FX sales initiatives focused on regional bank services. She reports to London-based Ben Feuer, head of foreign exchange in Europe.
She previously spent three years at DZ Bank in Hong Kong as a senior vice president focused on Greater China capital markets and treasury sales. She also held similar roles at ANZ Banking Group and RBC Hong Kong.
Other moves reported in AsianInvestor this week:
Asia chief Stewart Edgar exits BNPP IP
BlackRock loses lead China fund manager