KIC NAMES CEO

Korean sovereign wealth fund Korea Investment Corporation (KIC) has appointed Choi Hee-nam as chief executive.

Effective March 30, Choi replaces Eun Sung-soo, who became chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank of Korea last year.

Eun was brought on board in January 2016 after previous chairman and chief executive Ahn Hong-chul resigned in November 2015 amid allegations of improper conduct, as reported by AsianInvestor.

Choi was most recently an executive director at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF did not respond to AsianInvestor queries on Choi’s departure or whether a replacement has been announced.

ASSET MANAGEMENT ONE APPOINTS PRESIDENT AND CEO

Japanese fund house Asset Management One, the largest Asian fund house by assets under management, has named Akira Sugano as president and chief executive.

Effective April 1, Sugano replaces Yasumasa Nishi, who retired on March 31. Tokyo-based Sugano was also appointed as a director at the firm’s extraordinary shareholders meeting on March 23.

Prior to his appointment as director at Asset Management One, he was deputy president and executive officer at Japanese financial services firm Mizuho Financial Group.

Mizuho declined to comment on Sugano’s departure and his replacement.

MALAYSIA’S SECURITIES COMMISSION NAMES DEPUTY CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) has announced that Zainal Izlan Zainal Abidin has been appointed as its new deputy chief executive, effective April 5.

He replaces Ahmad Fairuz Zainol Abidin, who ended his term with the commission on March 31 and has been appointed as a judicial commissioner.

Zainal Izlan joined the SC in January 2011 as executive director, Islamic capital markets and was appointed managing director, development and Islamic markets in November 2016.

He is also chairman of Capital Markets Malaysia, an entity established by the SC to promote the Malaysian capital market.

BLACKSTONE HIRES MD FOR REAL ESTATE TEAM IN ASIA

Blackstone has hired Yan Yan as a managing director in its real estate team in Asia.

Yan officially joined the private equity firm on April 9 and reports to Tim Wang, senior managing director in the real estate group and head of real estate for China. Both are based in Hong Kong.

A company spokesman said the role was a new one but declined to comment on who looked after the duties now taken up by Yan before she came on board.

Yan was previously president at prime office developer Soho China, a position she left last month.

HARVEST NAMES FORMER FIXED INCOME CIO AS CEO

Harvest Fund Management has promoted Jing Lei to chief executive.

Jing was previously the Beijing-based general manager and fixed income chief investment officer at the Chinese fund house and became its CEO on March 21.

The company declined to comment on who its next fixed income CIO would be.

Henry Zhao, the previous CEO, replaced Deng Hongguo as the company's chairman in December. Deng stepped down from the position as his term expired, the company said in a regulatory filing.

UBS AM APPOINTS FONDCENTER SALES HEADS IN HK, SINGAPORE

UBS Asset Management has appointed Sebastien Chaker as Hong Kong-based head of sales for UBS Fondcenter, its wholesale funds platform, from January 2.

In this role, he is leading UBS Fondcenter's expansion efforts in the region, with offices in Hong Kong and Singapore, the company said in a media statement.

Previously Asia was covered by a team from Zurich and there was no formal lead, a spokesman for UBS told AsianInvestor.

Before joining UBS, Chacker was responsible for setting up and leading Calastone’s Asia expansion.

A spokesperson for Calastone, a global funds transaction network provider, did not clarify when Chacker left the firm but said Leo Chen took on the role of managing director – head of Asia in March 2017. Chen has been with Calastone since 2012.

In a related development, Nicolas Huras, will move from UBS AM's fund management services business in Zurich to become head of sales for Fondcenter in Singapore in early April.

Both Chacker and Huras will report to Christophe Hefti, global head of sales and relationship management for Fondcenter, Zurich.

PICTET AM’S MULTI-ASSET BUSINESS HEAD PASSES AWAY

Percival Stanion, a London-based equity partner who rejoined Pictet Asset Management in 2014 to head its international multi-asset business, has passed away.

He had previously worked as head of multi-asset at Baring Asset Management and head of asset allocation at BNP Paribas after leaving Pictet AM in 1998, according to his LinkedIn profile.

“Percival bore his illness with fortitude and stayed involved in the business until very recently. We shall miss him.” Pictet AM said in reply to AsianInvestor

The company declined to comment on who is looking after his duties on an interim basis.

OSTRUM ASSET MANAGEMENT APPOINTS EQUITY CIO

French investment manager Ostrum Asset Management has named Jean-Louis Scandella as equity chief investment officer.

Effective April 3, Scandella is responsible for Ostrum’s European and emerging market capabilities, including Asia ex-Japan, as well as overseeing the equity portfolio management teams based in Paris and Singapore.

He reports to Ibrahima Kobar, deputy chief executive and chief investment officer.

The role is newly created, an Ostrum spokesman said, bringing the European and emerging markets equity teams together under one global equity CIO. Prior to Scandella’s appointment, the European and emerging markets equity teams reported directly to Kobar, the spokesman added.

Scandella was most recently head of equities at Baring Asset Management. He left the firm in 2016, a Barings spokeswoman said, and he was replaced by Ghadir Cooper.

AsianInvestor was unable to ascertain Scandella’s activities in between his departure at Barings and his appointment at Ostrum.

UBS NOMINATES EX-GOLDMAN SACHS CHINA CHIEF TO BOARD

UBS has nominated Fred Hu to its board of directors for a one year term.

Hu, founder and chairman of Primavera Capital Group, an investment firm with offices in Beijing and Hong Kong, was previously partner and chairman of Greater China (2008-2010) at Goldman Sachs.

He has also worked for the International Monetary Fund and was co-director of Tsinghua University's National Center for Economic Research.

Hu continues to work for Primavera.

HSBC PRIVATE BANK APPOINTS NRI MARKET HEAD

HSBC Private Banking has appointed Sundar Ramani as international and non-resident Indian (NRI) market head based in Singapore.

He will be responsible for business development across the Europe, Middle East, and Australia markets along with the NRI segment.

He reports to Philip Kunz, head of Southeast Asia for HSBC Private Banking.

Ramani has more than 25 years of private banking experience including a previous eight-year stint with HSBC Singapore overseeing the Malaysia market and South Asian segment regionally.

An HSBC spokeswoman said the bank has been providing NRI coverage before Ramani joined but did not specify who had been handling those responsibilities.

Ramani was previously head of the NRI market at JP Morgan Private Bank. He stepped down in August 2017 and was replaced by Shatanu Jain as NRI market leader. He joined JP Morgan as vice president in 2010.

AsianInvestor was not able to ascertain what Ramani had been doing since he left JP Morgan mid-last year.

WILLIS TOWERS WATSON NAMES FINANCIAL SERVICES DIVISIONAL DIRECTOR

UK consultancy Willis Towers Watson has appointed Jamie Jeffers as divisional director of financial solutions.

Jeffers started his Sydney-based role in February, and he oversees the guidance and assistance of the consultancy's international and domestic financial institution clients, including insurance companies, in Australia. 

He reports to Stuart Ashworth, managing director of financial solutions for Asia Pacific. Willis Towers Watson did not respond to queries about who he would replace.

Most recently, Jeffers was sector head of insurance relationships for financial institutions at Australian bank Westpac Institutional Bank. Westpac declined to comment on Jeffers’ departure, as well as whether a replacement has been announced yet.

HAMILTON LANE PROMOTES RM EXECUTIVE IN TOKYO

Hamilton Lane has promoted Katsushi Sakurai to principal of relationship management in Tokyo.

The promotion took effect on April 2 and is part of a series of  promotions globally at the alternative investment manager. He reports to Tomoko Kitao, Tokyo-based managing director of relationship management.

Sakurai was previously a senior manager for relationship management, according to his LinkedIn profile. He has not replaced anyone as this is a promotion in title, a company spokesman said.

Other people news reported by AsianInvestor in the last two weeks: