Weekly roundup of people news, April 19

Munich Re makes APAC leadership changes; Vanguard Super's former head takes new role; Malaysia's PNB rehires chief executive; T. Rowe Price names APAC COO; HKEX appoints chief compliance officer; and more.
Weekly roundup of people news, April 19


Munich Re announced leadership changes in several markets as it sharpens focus of various business divisions.

Surbhi Goel

Surbhi Goel was named chief executive officer (CEO) India Branch effective October 2024Goel will be responsible for Munich Re’s property and casualty reinsurance business in India.

She will also become Munich Re’s first female CEO in India.
Goel will succeed Hitesh Kotak, who will take on an expanded role overseeing Japan, India, Korea, and Southeast Asia with effect from July 1. Goel will report to Kotak in her new role.

Goel currently handles the property and casualty Southeast Asia business at the firm. Michael Hauer, previously Korea CEO, will succeed Goel in this role, effective September 1.

Ajeet Phatak will be appointed CEO Korea, effective August 1. Phatak will relocate to Seoul. He has been heading client management in Japan since 2021.

Michael Hauer

Florian Gruson will be appointed CEO Japan, subject to regulatory approval, effective July 1.

Gruson has been leading global sales and distribution for the group in Munich since 2021. Gruson succeeds Brian Jizenji, who retires later this year.

Serene Chan was named head of property and casualty Greater China, based in Beijing, effective July 1. She has led the growth of the cyber business in Asia Pacific since 2018.

Finally, Roland Eckl was appointed chief executive - Australasia, Greater China, Middle East, and North Africa, Africa, cyber, based in Munich, effective July 1.

Eckl was chief executive responsible for Australasia, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia since January 1, 2023.


Michael Lovett

Bell Asset Management (BAM) appointed Michael Lovett as its new chief executive, effective April 15.

He succeeds Nick Fels who has assumed the newly created position of COO at the firm.

Lovett joins BAM following his recent role as head of superannuation at Vanguard Australia, where he was pivotal in launching the firm’s superannuation offering.

Before Vanguard Super, he led the asset manager’s registered investment business in the US and was head of distribution in Australia.

Lovett's earlier achievements include founding Challenger Boutique Partnerships (now known as Fidante), where he expanded the venture to 12 boutiques managing $18 billion in assets.

His career also includes a stint at HSBC Asset Management, leading sales teams across Australia.


Abdul Rahman Ahmad

Abdul Rahman Ahmad will join Malaysia’s Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) as president and group chief executive at the government-owned asset manager for all Malaysians, and the fund manager of the country's Bumiputera community, respectively, effective July 1.

Abdul Rahman was previously president and group chief executive of PNB from 2016 until 2019.

He is currently group CEO of CIMB Group and CEO of CIMB Bank Berhad, where he has served since 2020.  

He previously held leadership experience in various financial services and corporate sectors, including Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad, Media Prima Berhad, Ekuiti Nasional Berhad.

He was also the non-executive non- independent chairman of Sime Darby Berhad and Velesto Energy Berhad.


Tim Chamberlain

T. Rowe Price Group named Tim Chamberlain as Asia Pacific regional chief operating officer (COO), effective May 1.

This is a newly created position, with the firm expanding the responsibilities of the previous regional operating officer role to a broader Asia-Pacific remit, the firm told AsianInvestor.

In his new role, Chamberlain will report to Kimberly Johnson, the firm's chief operating officer.

Chamberlain is currently general manager for T. Rowe Price’s chief data office, a role that he has held since joining the firm in April 2023.

In his new role, Chamberlain will provide oversight and management of the firm’s Asia-Pacific offices and their operations to support continued business growth.

He will be aligned to the firm's Sydney office, commuting from his home in Melbourne, the firm told AsianInvestor.

Prior to joining T. Rowe Price, Chamberlain spent more than 16 years with S&P Global Ratings based in London, Singapore, and Melbourne.


Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) appointed Lilian Cheng as group chief compliance officer, starting May 1.

Lilian Cheng

Cheng succeeds Adam Singer, who will be leaving HKEX in May to explore opportunities outside the group.

Currently based in the UK, she will relocate to Hong Kong in late April.

In her new role, Cheng will have responsibility for the compliance function across the HKEX Group in Hong Kong, mainland China and internationally, and for continuing to advance the group’s compliance practices.

She will report to HKEX CEO Bonnie Chan.

Cheng joins HKEX from HSBC, where for the past decade she has held senior roles in the bank’s global compliance and risk management teams in Hong Kong and the UK, most recently as global head of capital and behaviours, enterprise risk management.

She previously held various compliance, consulting and audit roles at Goldman Sachs, EY, and PwC.


Kozo Fujioka

Federated Hermes appointed Kozo Fujioka sales manager in Japan, effective April 9, as a part of its Asia-Pacific sales team.

In this newly created role, Fujioka will be based in Tokyo and report to Wataru Horii, head of business development in Japan.

This announcement follows the appointment in 2023 of Jim Roland as head of distribution for Asia Pacific. Federated Hermes launched its Japan presence - led by Horii - in 2021.

Kozo Fujioka was most recently head of financial institution clients at T. Rowe Price Japan, which declined to respond to AsianInvestor’s enquiries regarding Fujioka's departure and replacement.

He previously held roles with PIMCO Japan and JP Morgan Asset Management, having started his career at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management.


Warren Day

The chief executive of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Warren Day, will exit his role on June 1.

Day is set join the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) as the director's executive officer on secondment. He will not return to ASIC post-secondment.

ASIC Chair Joe Longo has announced Greg Yanco as the interim chief executive starting June 1.

Yanco was previously executive director of markets and has over 30 years in financial market regulation. He has announced his own plans to retire in mid-2025.

The Australian regulator will begin a global search for a permanent chief executive in early 2025.

Lidia Tomova

DWS appointed Lidia Tomova as its CEO in Australia, effective March 1.

Pending regulatory approval, Tomova will also be appointed as chairperson of DWS Investments Australia Limited (DIAL).

Tomova succeeds Chris Robinson as CEO.

She will also continue as head of coverage, Australia and New Zealand. She reports to Vanessa Wang, head of Asia Pacific and head of coverage, Asia Pacific.

Robinson will continue to lead the liquid real assets business in the Asia-Pacific region as head of real estate securities, Asia Pacific.

Chris Robinson

Tomova will be responsible for shaping the growth strategy of DWS Australia to enhance the brand’s presence and play a pivotal role in fostering connections between the Australian team and the DWS global network. 

She began her career with Deutsche Bank’s global markets division in London in 2004, predominantly in client-facing sales roles.


Investor services group IQ-EQ appointed Sridhar Nagarajan managing director, Singapore, and regional CEO, Asia, Middle East and Africa, effective immediately.

Sridhar Nagarajan

He takes over from former Asia CEO Michael Marquardt -- who is leaving the company -- with an expanded remit, a spokesperson told AsianInvestor.

The role will also see Singapore-based Nagarajan join the IQ-EQ group management team.

Part of IQ-EQ’s senior leadership team since 2019, Nagarajan has been instrumental in the success of IQ-EQ's Africa, India and Middle East region, which he oversaw as regional managing director. 

Rehma Imrit will take over this role, the spokesperson said.


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