US boutique fund house opens Singapore office
New York-based GoldenTree Asset Management has opened its first Asian office in Singapore with the hire of Shahriar Saadullah as managing director to run business development in Asia Pacific. He reports to Kathy Sutherland, London-based global head of business development.

The addition of investment professionals in Singapore could be a future consideration for the $20 billion manager, which runs absolute-return, long-only and opportunistic strategies.

Saadullah was previously head of Asia Pacific for Citi’s global markets’ international fund distribution group, responsible for institutional placement of alternative investments such as private debt, hedge funds, real estate, illiquid fixed income and algorithmic strategies.

GoldenTree has an office in London as well as New York, and more than 190 employees, including 40 investment professionals.

Citi declined to comment on whether Saadullah has been or will be replaced.

UBS Wealth Management names Asia head of funds distribution
UBS Wealth Management has promoted Paul Stefansson to Asia-Pacific head of investment fund distribution, effective July 1. This will incorporate his previous post as head of investment fund and hedge fund distribution for Hong Kong and Singapore.

Singapore-based Stefansson will report to Vittorio Schiro, Asia-Pacific head of investment products and services.

The move comes as as Rene Buehlmann takes up the role of head of Asia Pacific at UBS Global Asset Management, as reported. He was previously global head of investment funds based in Hong Kong, and a new global head will be announced in due course.

Buehlman succeeds Kai Sotorp, who is moving to Toronto to serve as president and chief executive of Manulife AM and global head of wealth and asset management.

In addition, Patrick Grossholz has been appointed Hong Kong head of investment products and services at UBS WM, effective July 1. This role is also an expansion of his responsibilities as head of investment management for Asia Pacific.

NZ Super creates CIO role
The New Zealand Superannuation Fund has named Matt Whineray to the newly created role of chief investment officer. He has been with NZ Super since 2008 as general manager of investments.

The new role comprises his previous duties and additional responsibility for the pension fund’s strategic tilting programme, which now sits within the asset allocation team. The head of asset allocation, David Iverson, reports to Whineray.

NZ Super has assets under management of NZ$20 billion ($17.5 billion), run by a team of 35 investment professionals.

Before joining NZ Super, Whineray was head of financial sponsor coverage for non-Japan Asia at Credit Suisse, based in Hong Kong, and before that a director at First NZ Capital in New Zealand.

Kathryn Shih named new PWMA chairperson
The Hong Kong-based Private Wealth Management Association (PWMA) has named Kathryn Shih as chairman of the executive committee, effective June 16. She is group managing director and CEO for Asia Pacific at UBS Wealth Management.

Shih replaces former UBS colleague Allen Lo, who stepped down from the PWMA chairmanship this week. He was formerly Hong Kong head at UBS Wealth Management, but retired from this role in April, as reported.

Axa IM adds client service executive
Axa Investment Managers has hired Chen Hui-Min as a client service executive in Singapore to support Amy Lo, associate director of client services in Hong Kong. She is expected to start in the role in the next few days.

Chen was most recently marketing manager for Asia Pacific and the Middle East at Pioneer Investments from October 2012 until September 2013. Before joining Pioneer, she spent six years at US fund house Vanguard working in client services in Singapore.

The hire comes as Axa IM registers its first 13 products for retail sales in Singapore, as well as seven more in Hong Kong to bring the number of retail funds in the latter city to 23.

Craig Baker named Towers Watson CIO
Investment consultancy Towers Watson has promoted Craig Baker to the new role of global chief investment officer based in London. He was previously global head of investment research.

Baker replaces Chris Mansi, who takes on the new role of global delegated CIO, with responsibility for the construction and management of clients’ delegated portfolios.

Towers Watson’s investment business has assets under advisory of $2 trillion and assets under management of $60 billion.

Other people news reported on AsianInvestor this week:

Incapture readies hedge fund, eyes Asia: sources

Axa IM starts Singapore retail buildout