CIC expected to announce new chairman
China’s sovereign wealth fund CIC was reportedly set to announce its new chairman on Friday.

According to various media reports, Ding Xuedong, deputy secretary general of the State Council, was expected to be named as the new head of China Investment Corporation, which has $482 billion in assets under management, by AsianInvestor numbers. He would be coming in to replace former head Lou Jiwei, who was appointed finance minister in March.

There has been much speculation over candidates to replace Lou, with names including Tu Guangshao, now deputy mayor of Shanghai, who has worked at the People’s Bank of China, the China Securities Regulatory Commission and the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Other potential successors were Ning Caoning, chairman of state-owned China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corp. and Huang Qifan, mayor of Chongqing, as well as senior commercial bankers and financial regulators.

CIC had not confirmed the appointment by press time.

BlackRock MD joins BNY Mellon IM
Former BlackRock executive Albert Yeh joined BNY Mellon Investment Management as a managing director this week.

He will work on BNY Mellon’s investment management team focused on Asia Pacific, a newly created role. Based in Hong Kong, he reports to Jane Caire, BNY Mellon's head of strategy and development for products and marketing.

Yeh previously worked at BlackRock as managing director and chief operating officer for its Asia Pacific iShares unit and Asia ex-Japan retail business. Before that he was at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch’s global markets division, where he also held the COO role for Asia Pacific equities and fixed income.

As previously reported, Susan Chan will join BlackRock in mid-July as head of iShares Capital Markets for Asia Pacific. Chan will assume Yeh’s responsibilities, a spokeswoman says. Chan stems from Deutsche Bank, where she was most recently head of its equity structuring group and DBx, the bank’s exchange-traded products subsidiary.

A BlackRock spokesman did not respond to AsianInvestor requests for comment by press time.

JP Morgan AM no plans to replace North Asia head
A spokesperson for JP Morgan Asset Management in Hong Kong has confirmed that it has no plans to replace Ken Tam as head of its North Asia business.

Tam left this February after nearly 20 years at the firm. JP Morgan AM’s Hong Kong head Terry Pan, Taiwan head Ann Kao, and Korea head Toby Cha, who all previously reported to Tam, now report to Jed Laskowitz, CEO of the firm’s Asia Pacific business, the spokesman notes.

Tam was tapped to replace former CEO Douglas Eu, who left for Allianz Global Investors in 2006.

JP Morgan AM’s Asian AUM totalled $123 billion as of March 31. The firm has eight offices in the region, including an Asian based in Hong Kong. It also has branches in Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan.

Robeco promotes Mio to co-head Asian equities
Dutch asset manager Robeco has promoted Victoria Mio to co-head of Asia Pacific equities and chief investment officer for China.

In the newly created position, she will focus on expanding the firm’s investment capabilities into the mainland. She is based in Hong Kong and reports to CIO Hans Rademaker.

Previously Mio was lead portfolio manager, focused on Chinese equities as part of Robeco’s Asia Pacific team. She will continue her role as lead portfolio manager.

Robeco’s total AUM is $249 billion.

Mio joined Robeco’s Rotterdam office in 2006 before relocating to Hong Kong in 2008. Previously she worked at financial adviser Asterion Capital as an equity research analyst, and at JP Morgan Chase & Co., as an investment banking associate, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Principal hires Prudential executive
Asset manager Principal Global Investors has hired Gaurav Kumar as head of funds distribution for the Middle East in what is says is a newly created position.

Based in Dubai, Kumar is responsible for developing and strengthening the firm’s relationships with intermediaries, funds and distribution platforms across a variety of asset classes in the Middle East. He joined in June.

Kumar jointly reports to Andrea Muller, PGI's chief executive for Asia and the Middle East, and Wassim Nasrallah, managing director and head of the Middle East.

Before joining PGI, part of the Principal Financial Group, Kumar worked at the Prudential Group for over 10 years in a variety of roles, including as head of product and international business in India, and head of portfolio management out of Singapore.

Previously he was CEO and on the board at Eastspring Investments (formerly Prudential Asset Management) in Dubai, where he was responsible for setting up and overseeing its funds across the Middle East.

Clifford Chance taps Latham & Watkins lawyer
Law firm Clifford Chance has hired Kai Schneider from Latham & Watkins.

Schneider joins as a partner and will oversee the firm’s funds and investment management practice division in Singapore.

He replaces Ho Han Ming, who in March announced plans to join rival law firm Sidley Austin as a Singapore-based partner and co-head of its Asian investment funds practice.

A Clifford Chance spokeswoman says that Ho is still serving his notice period at Clifford, noting that partners at law firms usually serve out a six-month notice period. Ho’s departure date is still subject to agreement, the spokeswoman says, adding that the firm’s “priority is to ensure a smooth transition for our clients”.

Schneider previously headed Latham & Watkins’ fund practice for the Middle East and Africa, focused on hedge funds, private equity funds, real estate, venture capital, mezzanine and distressed-asset strategies. He also has a background in working with sharia-compliant funds.

Clifford Chance’s Singapore branch has about 85 staff.

3i Debt names IR director
Private equity and infrastructure investment firm 3i Debt Management hired Lisa Johnson as director in its investor relations division in what is a newly created role.

Johnson joins from alternative investment management firm Parker Global Strategies, where she held a similar role. She will work in 3iDM’s Singapore office, and meet sovereign wealth funds, family offices, pensions, endowments and foundations in Asia as part of the firm’s efforts to expand its investor base in the region.

Jeremy Ghose, managing partner at 3iDM, says: “Lisa’s appointment is an important step in realising our ambitions to build a global credit platform and client coverage model. Our expanded business will ultimately strengthen our investment offering and provide Asian investors with access to the European and US private debt space.”

London-based 3iDM’s AUM was £6.4 billion ($9.7 billion) as of March 31, up from £3.4 billion ($5.2 billion) in March 2012.

ACE Life hires regional agency officer
Property and casualty insurer ACE Life Asia Pacific appointed Ted Ridgway, former CEO of Prudential Assurance in Thailand, as regional chief agency officer.

He joins the firm’s Hong Kong office on July 1 and will report to Kevin Goulding, regional president of Asia Pacific.

Ridgway replaces Daniel Tang, who has been named chief agency officer of Hong Kong at ACE Life. Tang has been with the company since 2005.

Ridgway has been in the insurance industry for more than 30 years, having previously been CEO of Prudential Life Assurance in Bangkok. He also held a number of senior roles at Prudential Assurance in Singapore and Hong Kong, most recently working at Zurich Life Insurance’s Hong Kong office, according to his LinkedIn profile.

ACE Life Asia Pacific is part of the ACE Group of Companies.

Gibson Dunn names partner in HK
Law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher named Kelly Austin as partner-in-charge of its Hong Kong office.

She replaces Joe Barbeau, with a source noting that periodic rotation of this role is customary. Barbeau is still with the firm.

Austin, a member of the firm’s white collar defence and investigations practice, focuses on government investigations, regulatory compliance and international disputes.

Gibson Dunn’s 10-strong Hong Kong office focuses on cross-border transactions, corporate compliance, regulation and investigations across Asia. In addition it has regional offices in Beijing, Dubai and Singapore.

Other moves reported by AsianInvestor this week:

BNP Paribas senior fund salesman exits

Amundi on distribution hiring spree in North Asia