Weekly roundup of people news, April 18

FWD adds M&A expert to drive expansion; BlackRock hires China chief; Barclays hires structuring head; State Street appoints international head; BMO Global AM hires alts chief; and more.
Weekly roundup of people news, April 18


FWD Group hired Tan Boon-Kee in Singapore as group chief business officer as the acquisitive Hong Kong-based insurer pushes to become major regional player.

Tan, who has substantial merger-and-acquisitions experience, will lead FWD’s expanded M&A and strategic investment activities and drive various special projects.

She joined in February, having most recently worked at Deutsche Bank as Singapore-based head of its Asia-Pacific financial institutions group, before leaving the firm in August last year. Before moving to Deutsche in 2013, she was a managing director at Goldman Sachs covering financial institutions in Southeast Asia. 

"FWD is crafting a business with a footprint across growth markets that will ultimately look very similar to [Hong Kong-based] AIA," one person familiar with its plans told FinanceAsia, a sister publication to AsianInvestor

Tan reports to Huynh Thanh-Phong, Singapore-based group chief executive, an FWD spokeswoman told AsianInvestor.


BlackRock has announced it has hired Tony Tang Xiaodong as its first dedicated head of China. He will start in July and oversee development and execution of long-term business strategy in the country, the US fund management giant said in a statement.

Tang will split his time between Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, a spokeswoman told AsianInvestor. He will report to Geraldine Buckingham, head of Asia Pacific and will join the Asia-Pacific executive committee. 

Tang was previously chief executive of the international business of Guangzhou-based GF Securities in its Hong Kong subsidiary. 

On April 13, GF Securities announced that he had resigned for personal reasons. His departure came after one of GF's hedge funds, the GTEC Pandion Multi-Strategy Fund, lost $139 million in 2018. The loss contributed to a 50% drop in GF Securities’s full-year profit. 

Nicolas Reille

UK bank Barclays has appointed Nicolas Reille as head of equity structuring for Asia Pacific in what it says is a newly created role. He has joined in London and will relocate in June to Asia, where he had formerly worked for some years.

Reille joins Barclays from French bank Natixis, where he had led the Asia-Pacific equity derivatives sales team since 2014. He reportedly left the firm in January, after the firm took a €260 million ($300 million) hit resulting largely from the sale of equity structured products in Asia. Natixis declined to comment. 

Prior to Natixis, he was head of Asia-Pacific sales and marketing for the global equity derivatives business at French bank Société Générale.


State Street has hired Francisco Aristeguieta as chief executive for international business, responsible for all the US asset servicing and management firm's business outside its home market.

Aristeguieta will take up the role in July, initially based in Hong Kong. It is understood that the firm will provide an update in due course on where he will be based in future, but a spokesperson declined to comment on this.

State Street said Aristeguieta's role has been newly created to strengthen the oversight of its international busines. The heads of Asia Pacific (Ian Martin) and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (Liz Nolan) remain in place, but the spokeswoman said she could not comment on whether they now report to Aristeguieta.

Aristeguieta reports to Ron O’Hanley, Boston-based president and chief executive of State Street.

Aristeguieta was previously Asia CEO of Citigroup and before that vice chairman at Santiago-based commercial bank Banco de Chile.

Tim Monger, Citi's head of productivity, will be interim CEO of Asia Pacific while the bank identifies Aristeguieta’s replacement, a spokesman told AsianInvestor.


Canada's BMO Global Asset Management has appointed Stewart Bennett in the newly created role of global head of alternatives based in London.

Stewart Bennett

Bennett will start on May 7 and report to Kristi Mitchem, the newly appointed chief executive of BMO Global AM.

Bennett will oversee the firm’s newly formed alternatives offering, including real estate and private equity, a spokesman told AsianInvestor.

He joined from London-based independent investment banking firm Ondra Partners, where he was partner and head of the financial institutions group for 10 years, said BMO in a statement.

Ondra did not respond to queries about Bennett's departure.


Northern Trust has appointed Conlon Chen as head of operations for global fund services in Asia, effective February 19 and based in Hong Kong.

Prior to joining the Chicago-based asset management and asset servicing firm, Chen was head of operations at Maples Fund Services, which did not immediately reply to an AsianInvestor query.

Chen's predecessor, Ka Tse, moved internally to an operations role at Northern Trust Asset Management

Chen reports to Caroline Higgins, Asia head of global fund services.


The Securities Commission Malaysia (SCM) has announced new members of the Malaysian Venture Capital and Private Equity Development Council (MVCDC).

The regulator has appointed the following individuals for a two-year term from March 1, 2019:

  • Azhar Haji Yahaya, secretary general of the Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change;
  • Suhara Salleh, deputy director for the general services sector in the National Budget Office of the Ministry of Finance;
  • Yasir Arafat Kadir, chief executive of Ekuiti Nasional, a government-owned private equity company;
  • V. Sivapalan, president of the Malaysian Business Angels Network;
  • Surina Shukri, CEO of the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation;
  • Victor Chua, president of the Malaysian VC and PE Association; and
  • Irwan Ahmad Mustafa, head of private investments at Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB), a government-linked investment company.

The council is chaired by SCM chairman Zaid Albar, while the SCM’s deputy chief executive, Zainal Izlan Zainal Abidin, is also a member.

The SCM did not immediately provide the names of the previous council members. 

The MVCDC was established in 2005 as an inter-ministerial council with representatives from both the public and private sectors to advise the government and facilitate greater coordination of strategies for the development of the venture capital and private equity industry.

Other people news reported on in the past week:

Pictet AM hires Asia chief to succeed Amy Cho

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