EASTSPRING STRATEGIST EXITS

Eastspring Investments has seen a global strategist depart as part of the ongoing shakeup at the firm, the asset management arm of UK insurer Prudential. 

Robert Rountree, part of the firm's investment marketing team, has left, an Eastspring spokeswoman confirmed to AsianInvestor. His Securities and Futures Commission licence with the firm ended on April 12, having started on December 2003, when it appears he joined the firm.

The spokeswoman declined to comment further.

The departure follows that of various investment and client relationship staff, including Alex Hambly, head of private equity, and Duncan Black, an infrastructure investment director. Hambly’s licence with Eastspring ended on April 12. The asset manager did not respond to queries on Black or Hambly.

The firm said last month it was laying off four alternative investment staff, but the spokewoman declined to confirm any of their identities.

The cuts followed the simultaneous exit of three of its top executives – chief executive Guy Strapp, chief financial officer Ted Pull and chief operating officer Phil Stockwell – in January. The departures have fuelled speculation over the future of the firm, including over a potential sale, although the spokeswoman has said Prudential is not looking to sell the business.

HOSTPLUS NAMED HEAD OF INSURANCE

Australian superannuation fund Hostplus has appointed Shane Fielding as head of insurance, based in Melbourne. 

Fielding joined on April 16 after his predecessor, Jonathan Kelly, left at the end of 2018, a spokesman told AsianInvestor. Fielding was previously head of group life consulting services at IFS Insurance Solutions, according to the firm’s website.

He now reports to Kelly Cantwell, group executive service operations at Hostplus, who is also based in Melbourne, the spokesman added.

IFS did not respond to queries about Fielding’s departure.

SAVILLS IM MOVES CEO ROLE TO SINGAPORE WITH NEW HIRE

London-based global real estate manager Savills Investment Management has appointed Alex Jeffrey as its new CEO. He will join the firm in late 2019, subject to regulatory approval, and will, unusually, operate as the firm's global top executive from Singapore. Jeffrey will also become a member of the Savills group executive board.

Alex Jeffrey

Jeffrey is moving to Singapore to conduct the role because the Singapore office has been designated as the permanent location for the CEO role of Savills IM, according to a Savills' spokeswoman. Discussions to move the CEO role to Asia were in process prior to Jeffrey’s appointment, she elaborated

Jeffrey is replacing Kiran Patel, who had been acting CEO since chairman and chief executive Justin O’Connor announced his resignation in June 2018. His departure took place just one month before he was scheduled to relocate from London to Hong Kong. Patel will continue as CIO and become deputy CEO upon Jeffrey’s arrival. Nick Cooper will continue as Savills' chairman.

For Jeffrey the location doesn't mean much difficulty, as he was already based in Singapore as the head of Asia Pacific for London-based M&G Investments. The fund manager arm of life insurer Prudential. Before that Jeffrey was previously the London-based CEO of M&G Real Estate, and prior to that he was Europe CEO and chief investment officer of MGPA.

AsianInvestor understands that M&G has not yet appointed a replacement for Jeffrey, but it's anticipated that he will work with Graham Mason, chief international officer for M&G Prudential, towards a smooth handover.

Savills IM has seen its Asian investments slip from about $2 billion in 2016 down to $1.5 billion AUM today, following a period in which disposals outstripped acquisitions. Savills' total AUM is £16 billion ($20.6 billion).

ALLIANZ'S PHILIPPINE LIFE BUSINESS PROMOTES COO TO CEO

Manila-based Allianz PNB Life Insurance has appointed Alexander Grenz as its new president and chief executive officer (CEO), effective June 1.

Alexander Grenz

After spending three years as chief operating officer of German insurer Allianz’s Philippine joint venture, Grenz will succeed Olaf Kliesow in the head role. Kliesow is moving to a new role as Allianz SE's global head of rewards and performance, but he stay in the Philippines to support a transition process through third quarter of 2019.

Allianz PNB did not respond to AsianInvestor’s query as to who would now be COO.

Kliesow has been with Allianz since 2010, including as being president and CEO of Allianz PNB Life since the JV was set up in June 2016.

LOOMIS SAYLES BUILDS TEAM FOR ASIA CREDIT

Boston-based investment management firm Loomis, Sayles & Company (Loomis Sayles) has hired five staff in Singapore to focus on its first Asia-focused fixed income fund managed out of the city state. Matt Eagan, executive vice president of Loomis Sayles and portfolio manager for the company’s fixed income group, made the statement at a recent media briefing in Hong Kong.

Loomis Sayles’ new Singapore-based fixed income team consists of one Asia-focused credit portfolio manager and two analysts. The team set up a fund last year with seed capital from parent company Natixis Investment Managers and will launch it this year, according to Eagan’s statements. it will be the first Asia-focused product of Loomis Sayles.

Loomis Sayles spokespeople did not respond to AsianInvestor’s inquiries regarding the identity of the five professionals. Boston-based Matt Eagan is the co-manager of three Loomis Sayles funds currently available in Asia.

*This news in brief was updated to show the team consists of two analysts, instead of four.

MUNICH RE APPOINTS NEW KOREA CEO

Munich Re has named Michael Hauer as its chief executive for Korea, effective on June 1.

Hauer is currently based in Singapore as head of marine reinsurance for Asia Pacific at the German reinsurer. However, he will relocate to Seoul and report to Singapore-based Roland Eckl, chief executive of Asia Pacific.

Hauer will replace Ike Kim, who will take a new role as executive director for Korea. A spokesman declined to comment on why Kim was shifting roles.