Pimco names new Asia ex-Japan head in reshuffle

Pimco has promoted Michael Thompson, former head of both the Asia ex-Japan wealth management team and the Singapore office, to head of Asia ex-Japan at the bond fund house.

Effective on April 18, Thompson will report to Kimberley Stafford, who became head of Asia-Pacific in January, and relocate to Hong Kong from Singapore in the coming months.

The reshuffle has brought other changes in the Asia ex-Japan team, with all the new appointees reporting to Thompson.

Abhi Shroff, previously head of South Asia institutional business development, is now head of South Asia.

Scott Steele is now head of Hong Kong and Singapore global wealth management, and head of Singapore (he will relocate from Hong Kong). His previous role, head of Asia ex-Japan institutional, no longer exists.

Todd Staley, previously head of private banking for Southeast Asia, is now head of institutional for Hong Kong and Taiwan. Those businesses previously fell under Steele's remit. The Southeast Asia PB role no longer exists, with Shroff overseeing South Asia overall.

Thompson's promotion move sees Pimco return to a structure it has had in the past. The most recent head of Asia ex-Japan was Brian Baker, before he retired in May 2015. He had reported to then Asia-Pacific head Eric Mogelof.

Thompson joined Pimco in 2006 at the firm’s London office as head of European third-party distribution. He moved to Singapore in 2010 to assume leadership of the Asia ex-Japan wealth management business, and became head of Singapore in 2014. He has also worked at Western Asset Management.

Citi PB names Bacon as Asia-Pacific investments head

Citi Private Bank has promoted Roger Bacon to head of investments for Asia Pacific from head of managed investments and advisory for the region. He succeeds Sohn So-Yon, who has moved to an as-yet-unspecified new role in the global markets and investor sales team within the group.

Adam Proctor, previously global market manager of the global client program and a senior private banker in London, will succeed Bacon. Proctor will move to Singapore in the coming months and report to Bacon and David Bailin, global head of managed investments. He will relocate to Singapore in the coming months.

Roger Bacon

Bacon's remit now covers including asset allocation, product advice and execution across capital markets and managed investments. He reports to Eduardo Martinez Campos, global head of investments at Citi Private Bank, and Bassam Salem, Asia Pacific chief executive, and remains in Hong Kong.

Bacon held his previous role since 2010 and as such oversaw all product-based, portfolio management and advisory solutions in the region.

Citi had $218 billion in Asia-Pacific AUM as of end-2016, according to the latest ranking by Asian Private Banker.

Before joining Citi, Bacon was head of the hedge fund business at Union Bancaire Privée in London. He has also held roles with the Rothschild Family Office, JP Morgan Fleming Asset Management, Jardine Fleming Investment Management and Fleming Investment Management in London, Hong Kong and Luxembourg.

GSAM sees EM CIO exit, reshuffles team

Goldman Sachs Asset Management has seen Prashant Khemka, chief investment officer for global emerging markets and India equity strategies, depart the firm and has reshuffled its EM team, according to a note to clients.

Sam Finkelstein, head of EM debt, has been promoted to the newly created role of global head of EM, covering both equities and fixed income.

Basak Yavuz and Hiren Dasani are the new co-heads of EM equity, effectively replacing Khemka. London-based Yavuz is head of Emea and Latin America equity, while Dasani is head of India equity.

Dasani will relocate from Mumbai to Singapore and become co-lead portfolio manager with Yavuz of the global EM equity portfolio. Dasani will also become lead PM of India equity portfolios.

London-based Finkelstein and his team oversee $47.1 billion of assets under management.

Khemka had been based in Singapore and had worked for GSAM since May 2000 and as EM CIO since September 2013, according to his LinkedIn page.

Nordea Bank poaches Singapore GM from SEB

Sweden's Nordea Bank has appointed Fredrik Lager as general manager for Singapore, to be effective  in the coming week, a spokesperson said.

Lager replaces Kim Orborg Nielsen, who becomes head of private banking. Nordea did not respond to queries about whether his remit covers Singapore or Asia and who was in the post previously.

Lager will report to Flemming Lauridsen, Luxembourg-based international head of private banking.

Lager was previously general manger for Singapore at SEB, another Swedish bank, until the end of March.

Rolf Fus, deputy global head of private banking, will take over as SEB's general manager for Singapore, and Jonas Berqvist, a senior private banker in Singapore, has become head of private banking for Singapore, a spokesperson said.

EFG's former Singapore CEO returns

EFG will see Kees Stoute return to the Swiss private bank as business head for North Asia in the coming weeks, reported Hubbis. 

Stoute will report to Albert Chiu, EFG's Asia-Pacific chief executive, the report said.

EFG declined to comment.

Stoute worked at EFG from 2007 to 2012, most recently as Singapore CEO. He was most recently managing director at Hubbis, a Hong Kong-based wealth management news, research and training provider.

Vontobel AM poaches multi-asset executive from UBS

Vontobel Asset Management has appointed Gregor Hirt as head of multi-asset solutions, to be effective on July 1. Based in Zurich, he will report to Christophe Bernard, chief strategist and head of the firm's multi-asset business.

Gregor Hirt

Hirt’s role was created to oversee a combined unit of areas of multi-asset funds, multi-manager solutions and outcome-driven investing, a spokesperson said.

This reflects a trend in Asia, where multi-asset solutions experts are in high demand and can move roles for big salary increases, recruiters told AsianInvestor last month.

Hirt will join from rival Swiss firm UBS Global Asset Management, where he is chief investment of global investment solutions for Europe and Switzerland. He also became global chief of multi-asset strategies last year. UBS declined to comment on the departure.

Hirt has also worked at Schroders and Credit Suisse.  

Colliers promotes Hall as Asian international properties MD

Property services firm Colliers International has promoted James Hall to Asia managing director for international properties on April 6. He will lead the team promoting global residential property to investors in the region.

Hall had rejoined Colliers on January 9 as head of sales for the Hong Kong international properties team, after nearly five years at rival CBRE as regional director for international properties. CBRE did not respond to queries on Hall's replacement by press time.

He had also worked at Colliers between August 2010 and February 2012.

Hall now reports to David Hand, Asia-Pacific chief executive.

When he rejoined in January, he had reported to Ashley Osbourne, then head of UK residential and Asia managing director of international properties, who is based in Hong Kong. Osbourne will remain head of UK residential.

Colliers has not yet decided on a replacement for the head of sales for the Hong Kong international properties team, a spokesperson said.

China Pacific Insurance chairman resigns

China Pacific Insurance saw chairman Gao Guofu resign on April 12. The firm, one of the country's biggest insurers with assets under management of Rmb1.02 trillion ($147 billion), said it was seeking a replacement.

Local publication Securities Times reported that Gao’s role is likely to be taken over by Kong Qingwei, former chairman of Shanghai Guosheng Group, a state-owned investment firm, who resigned on April 11. Guosheng announced Kong’s resignation in a statement. 

China Pacific Insurance did not confirm by press time to an emailed query about whether it would be hiring Kong.

Gao is likely to be named chairman of Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, reported Securities Times. Former chairman Ji Xiaohui retired on April 12, the bank said in a statement.

Shou Weiguang, chairman of the supervisory committee of Chinese broker Haitong Securities, has succeeded Kong as chairman at Shanghai Guosheng.

Other people news reported by AsianInvestor in the past week:

Chinese fund houses wary of foreign competition