Goldman replaces SE Asia wealth head
Ajay Sondhi has retired from his Singapore-based role as head of private wealth management for Southeast Asia and Australia.

Jason Moo, also based in the Lion City, will take on Sondhi's responsibilities in addition to his current post as Asia head of alternative capital markets.

As Asia head of both the markets solutions and alternative capital markets groups at Goldman, Moo has been instrumental in broadening their mandates in the region, says an internal memo seen by AsianInvestor.

He previously worked in Goldman’s equities merchandising group in New York. Moo moved to the wealth division in Singapore as a financial analyst in 1998 and became managing director in 2007.

Sondhi had joined Goldman in 2008, before which he was with Citi’s wealth business in Singapore, where he headed the onshore India and non-resident Indian divisions in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

RBC WM names North Asia head
Canada’s RBC Wealth Management has hired Michael Yong-Haron as head of North Asia, effective March 17. Based in Hong Kong, he reports to head of emerging markets Barend Janssens.

Yong-Haron joins from Credit Suisse, where he was most recently team head for Greater China. He was with the Swiss bank for 10 years. Credit Suisse did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

The appointment follows the departure of Asia head Andrew Turczyniak, as reported last week. Yong-Haron’s role is a newly created one similar to that of Grace Barki, who runs Southeast Asia and also reports to Janssens.

Nikko AM appoints global head of multi-asset
Japan’s Nikko Asset Management has hired Al Clark from Schroder Investment Management as global head of multi-asset.

Based in Sydney, the newly created role is aimed at cutting the time it takes for Nikko to bring multi-asset, multi-region products to market. Clark reports to Wang Yu-Ming, international chief investment officer based in Tokyo.

At Schroders, Clark was Asia head of multi-asset at Schroders based in Singapore and left the UK firm late last year. He has also worked for fund houses such as Macquarie Funds Management and BT Financial Group.

Replacing Clark is Richard Coghlan, who has been with Schroders since 2000, most recently as head of multi-asset for Hong Kong.

Coutts loses Asia CIO to Middle East bank
Gary Dugan has left his role as Asia chief investment officer at UK private bank Coutts to move to National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) as CIO. He had joined Coutts in May 2012, and it is understood that the firm is seeking a replacement.

Dugan is very familiar with the Middle East, having been CIO for the private banking division of Emirates NBD in Dubai, the biggest bank in the region, from 2009 to 2012. He has also worked for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, where he was CIO for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Coutts and NBAD declined to comment.

HKMA chief reappointed
The chief executive of Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Norman Chan, has been reappointed to his position for another five years, effective from October 1.

His remuneration package will rise by nearly 10% to HK$6.5 million ($830,000) from HK$6 million. He will also receive annual performance-linked variable pay, capped at HK$2.6 million.

Hong Kong financial secretary John Tsang says: “Under Norman’s leadership in the past few years, the HKMA has tackled the shocks and challenges following the global financial crisis and effectively maintained the stability of Hong Kong’s monetary and financial systems.

“Despite considerable volatility and uncertainties in the financial markets, the Exchange Fund has achieved investment income commensurate with its investment objectives,” he adds.

“On the market development front, the HKMA has been instrumental in developing Hong Kong as the largest offshore renminbi centre and maintaining our status as an international financial centre.”

Before becoming HKMA head in October 2009, Chan had worked for Standard Chartered Bank as Asia vice chairman and also for the Hong Kong government.

AsianInvestor magazine’s March cover story featured a in-depth look at whether the HKMA should set up a sovereign wealth fund.

Aussie pension fund SSFS adds sales executive
Australian retirement fund State Super Financial Services (SSFS) has hired James Panaretos from Mercer in a newly created role as general manager of business development. Due to start in April, he will report to the superannuation fund’s managing director, Michael Monaghan.

SSFS says this marks a greater institutional focus for the fund, as Panaretos will focus on developing relationships with corporate and instutional partners to provide financial advice services to their members.

He had worked as principal and business development manager for Mercer Investments across its consulting advice and multi-manager solutions. He has also held senior positions in institutional sales and business development at BT Funds Management and Russell Investments Group.

As of January, SSFS had more than 55,000 clients and more then A$13 billion ($11.8 billion) in assets under management.

AMP Capital names infrastructure debt trio
Australian fund house AMP Capital has made three appointments to its global infrastructure debt team, who will help the firm raise capital and source deals.

Emma Haight joined this week as a London-based director. She previously worked at NIBC Bank in the Netherlands as a vice president in the project finance division and was a lead negotiator on infrastructure transactions.  

Haight will be joined in London by James Fox, who will take on the role of associate director at the end of April. He was previously part of the finance team at British Land. Haight and Fox will both report to Richard Lane, London-based infrastructure debt principal at AMP Capital.

In May, Spencer Ivey will take up the post of associate director, relocating to New York in May from AMP’s Sydney office, where he has been fund controller for the infrastructure debt team. He will report to infrastructure debt principal Patrick Trears in New York, and will be replaced in Sydney by Greg Gill, previously manager of AMP Capital’s fund accounting team.

Fox, Haight and Ivey will all assume newly created roles and will boost the global infrastructure team to 10.

AMP Capital is seeking to raise $1 billion for Infrastructure Debt Fund II, which reached a first close in April last year at $300 million.

Wealth-X adds China sales executive
Ultra-high-net-worth research firm Wealth-X has appointed Nick Griffith in Hong Kong to cover sales and business development for Greater China.

Griffith joins from World-Check, which runs a database of politically exposed persons and sensitive individuals and organisations for the purposes of background checks by companies such as financial institutions.

Greater China – China, Hong Kong and Taiwan – is home to 15,100 UHNWIs (defined as those with at least $30 million in assets), accounting for over a third of Asia’s UHNWIs, according to the Wealth-X and UBS World Ultra Wealth Report 2013. The UHNW population in Greater China has a combined net worth of $2.25 trillion.

Other people news reported on AsianInvestor.net this week:

Paul Capital winds down in Asia amid difficulties

HSBC private bank names Asia chief in reshuffle

Fullerton hires investment trio, plans funds

SG purchase to boost DBS wealth assets by fifth

DeAWM hires ex-JP Morgan veteran: sources