Weekly roundup of people moves, July 5

Changes at the top at Qatar’s state fund; Natixis hires Amundi director; Barings snags ex-BlackRock finance controller; Taiwan Stock Exchange appoints president
Weekly roundup of people moves, July 5

Changes at the top at Qatar’s state fund
Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund has named Ahmad Al-Sayed – previously head of its foreign investment arm, Qatar Holding – as chief executive, reports the country’s official news agency.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani will chair Qatar Investment Authority and Sheikh Abdullah becomes vice chairman, according to the Qatar News Agency. Finance minister Ali Al Emadi was appointed a board member.

Al-Sayed replaces Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Al Thani, who had led Qatar’s government since 2007 as both premier and foreign minister.

The changes at QIA came just after Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani handed power to his son, Sheikh Tamim, in late June, and a subsequent major reshuffle of government ministers.

Media reports speculate that Al-Sayed's appointment suggests the fund is likely to continue its aggressive buying of foreign assets.

QIA is estimated to manage assets of well over $100 billion.

Natixis snags Amundi institutional saleswoman
Natixis Global Asset Management has hired former Amundi executive Marie Teo as director of institutional sales for Southeast Asia.

Based in Singapore, she will focus on developing the firm’s institutional client base across the region. She will also work with the firm’s consultants in Asia and London.

Natixis Global AM created Teo’s position as part of the firm’s expansion in Asia – the firm’s Asian AUM has grown by nearly 50% in the past three years to $24 billion from around $12 billion.

Teo reports to Madeline Ho, who joined Natixis GAM from Fidelity Worldwide Investment in January as the firm’s head of wholesale distribution for Asia Pacific.

Previously Teo worked at rival French fund house Amundi as head of institutions for Southeast Asia. Before that, she was director of institutional marketing for Singapore-based APS Komaba Asset Management.

Teo’s position at Amundi has been temporarily assumed by Jenny Sofian, CEO and head of Southeast Asia in Singapore, and a search for Teo’s replacement is underway.

Natixis Global AM, which managed $785 billion globally as of March, first established a presence in Asia by opening an office in Tokyo in 2001. It has since set up branches in Beijing, Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan.

Barings appoints former BlackRock finance controller
Baring Asset Management has hired former BlackRock executive Eric Lee as chief financial officer in Asia, a newly created position.

Based in Hong Kong, Lee reports to Julian Swayne, chief financial officer, and Barings CEO Gerry Ng.

Given the growth of Barings' Asian business continues to grow and evolve, in particular following our acquisition of SEI Asset Korea earlier this year to create Barings Asia,” says Ng. “We have therefore identified the need to further enhance our finance function in the region by creating the new senior role of chief finance officer Asia.”

Lee joins from BlackRock’s Hong Kong office, where he had been finance controller for Asia ex-Japan since 2007. Previously he was senior finance manager at Hong Kong fund house Value Partners.

A BlackRock spokesman confirmed that Lee left on June 27, but declined to comment on whether the Lee had been or would be replaced.

Taiwan Stock Exchange appoints new president
Taiwan Stock Exchange has named Michael Lin president to replace Samuel Hsu, who stepped down on June 28 after nearly seven years at the helm.

Lin, based in Taipei, joined TSE in October 2006 as a senior executive vice president, a role he held until his recent promotion.

Before joining the bourse, Lin worked in a similar capacity at the Taiwan Depository & Clearing Corporation. Before that he held various management roles at the Fiscal Information Agency under the Ministry of Finance and at the Postal Savings Bureau, from 1990 through 2006.

AsianInvestor was unable to ascertain Hsu's next move, and TSE declined to comment.

Friends Provident International names HK MD
Friends Provident International, which provides offshore wealth management products and services, promoted James Tan to managing director in Hong Kong.

Tan joined the firm in June 2012 as general manager for Asia and the Middle East. In his newly created role, he is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day running of the business, focusing on Asia and the Middle East.

Asked why the firm created Tan's role, a spokeswoman says it fits in with Friends Provident International’s broader strategy of bringing the business closer to its core markets.

Tan reports to London-based John Van Der Wielen, chief executive of the UK and international divisions.

Tan previously worked at insurer AIA in its partner distribution division in Hong Kong. Before that, he was at Standard Chartered for seven years as global head of bancassurance.

Withers appoints three new Asian partners
Law firm Withers has promoted three lawyers to partner in Asia: Stacey Devoy in Hong Kong, and Fernando Gandioli and Philip Munro in Singapore. Five have others achieved partner status elsewhere.

Devoy works on the family law team. She started at Withers in London in 2008 and relocated to Hong Kong last year.

Gandioli, a US and international private client lawyer, joined Withers in London in 2006 and helped established the Singapore office last year.

Munro, also a private client lawyer, started at Withers as a trainee in 2004. He has worked in both London and Hong Kong, and also helped set up its Singapore branch.

The firm’s Asian practice, established in 2008, has grown from five to 12 partners. Withers points an the increasing need in Singapore in particular to meet rapidly growing demand from the private client industry.

Other partner promotions include Kate Landells, Stephen Richards and Ceri Vokes in London; Liang Chi-Yu in New York; and Shannon Smith Retzke in New Haven, Connecticut.

Law firm Gide Loyrette names new Asia partners
Law firm Gide Loyrette Nouel named three lawyers partners in Asia.

Guo Min is now partner in its Beijing office, while Gilles Cardonnel and Rebecca Finn achieved partner status in Hong Kong.

Min is head of Gide Loyrette’s China tax practice. She joined the firm’s Beijing office in 2005, after working as a tax consultant. She focuses on cross-border mergers and acquisitions, cross-border transactions, joint ventures, project financings, company restructurings, foreign investment projects and tax reforms and disputes.

Cardonnel advises clients on infrastructure projects across Asia in sectors including transport, waste, water, energy and telecoms. He also works on corporate transactions under Hong Kong law, such as mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and restructurings.

Before joining Gide Loyrette’s Hong Kong office in June 2008, Cardonnel worked in the project finance department in Paris for two years.

Finn, who joined Gide’s London office in 2006, works in the international banking and finance group. She specialises in cross-border finance transactions, including mainstream bank lending, project development and financing, acquisition finance, Islamic finance and structured finance.

Finn will relocate to Hong Kong from London.

Other people moves reported by AsianInvestor this week:

Laven incorporates in Singapore, adds to team

Wells Fargo AM aims to expand distribution in Asia

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