SWISS RE NAMES CHINA HEAD FOR ASSET MANAGEMENT BUSINESS

Ray Yang

Zurich-based Swiss Re-insurance (Swiss Re) has named Ray Yang as the China head of its asset management business, effective April 8.

Most recently, Yang worked with Aon China as the head of pension and investment business. Swiss Re and Aon China did not reply to emailed questions on his appointment and replacement.

BLACKROCK DEREGISTERS SHANGHAI UNIT

US fund giant BlackRock has shifted its business focus in China, closing its Shanghai-based private fund unit and focusing on the planned launch of its mutual fund business in the country. 

According to data from the Asset Management Association of China, BlackRock has deregistered its wholly foreign-owned enterprise (WFOE) BlackRock Investment Management (Shanghai). It had launched the private funds business in 2017 as a way to roll out regional funds across China.

A spokeswoman told AsianInvestor that there is no timetable for the launch of the mutual fund business and that the firm will not lay-off or restructure any of its China-focused team following the deregisteration. She added that the asset manager has between 70 and 80 employees working in China. 

BlackRock says it voluntarily deregistered the WFOE business. Under Chinese regulation, foreign managers are required to apply for a separate license to run mutual and private business.  

DWS APPOINTS APAC HEAD OF INSURANCE COVERAGE

Ellen Yang

Germany-headquartered asset manager DWS hired Ellen Yang to be its head of insurance coverage for Asia Pacific, effective April 1.

A spokesman for DWS said she replaces Sam Manchanda, who has taken a different position within the organisation, focusing on passive product distribution for Europe. 

Currently based in Shanghai, Yang reports to Michele Gaffo, global head of insurance, who is based in Germany. She is responsible for coordinating relationship management and business development across insurance companies in the region.

The same spokesman clarified Yang may relocate to Hong Kong, depending on how the Covid-19 pandemic evolves.

Yang joined DWS from Deutsche Bank, where she was head of structuring since August 2018. Prior to that, she held director and manager positions at KPMG and PwC.

A spokesman for Deutsche Bank confirmed Yang's departure but declined to answer further questions.

AMUNDI APPOINTS FIRST SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER IN ASIA
Sylvia Chen

French fund house Amundi appointed Sylvia Chen as its senior sustainable officer for Asia, a newly created position.

Chen was appointed on February 1 into the role, as part of Amundi's effort to push more sustainable investing in South Asia. Before that, the sustainability efforts were driven out of the asset manager's global headquarters in Paris, a spokeswoman clarified. This is the first role dedicated to sustainability in the region, she added.

Chen, who is based in Singapore, reports to Eric Bramoullé, chief executive officer of South Asia, also based in Singapore.

Before joining Amundi Chen had worked at OCBC for six years, most recently as vice president for investor relations. Before that she worked in the debt capital markets team at BNP Paribas.

A spokesman for OCBC said she left on January 15 and has been replaced, but declined to reveal by whom.

MANULIFE IM NAMES NEW SENIOR PORTFOLIO MANAGER 

Manulife Investment Management named Jeffrey Kan as managing director and senior portfolio manager for asset allocation, effective April 7.  

Hong Kong-based Kan reports to Luke Browne, head of asset allocation for multi-asset aolutions at Asia. In a press release, Manulife IM said "the new appointment underlines the firm's commitment to adding investment talent to support the firm’s growth plan in China and Asia". 

Before joining Manulife IM, Kan had most recently worked at Schroders Investment Management as a fund manager in Hong Kong, where he managed a number of multi-asset strategies and co-managed an absolute return strategy as well as global fixed income portfolios for Asia clients.

Schroders did not reply to emailed questions on Kan's replacement.

MORGAN STANLEY IM NAMES NEW PORTFOLIO MANAGER FOR A-SHARES
Sun Liang

Morgan Stanley Investment Management has named a change in the portfolio manager team for the Morgan Stanley China A Share Fund.

Effective March 31, Leon Sun, a managing director of Morgan Stanley Asia (MSA), will also serve as a portfolio manager of the A share Fund.

Prior to joining MSA. Sun was a senior portfolio manager and head of investments for Nomura since 2011. Nomura declined to comment on his replacement while Morgan Stanley IM did not reply to email requests about who Sun had replaced immediately.

According to Morgan Stanley's website, May Yu stopped acting as a co-portfolio manager on the A-shares strategy this year. Sun appears to have replaced Yu, and now works alongside Gary Cheung, managing director of MSA. He has been with firm since 2008.

HAMILTON LANE PROMOTES BUS DEV EXECUTIVE TO PRINCIPAL
Xiaying Zhang

US investment firm Hamilton Lane announced the promotion of Singapore-based Xiaying Zhang to principal of business development from vice president of business development, effective April 1.

The position is newly created. A spokesman clarified that although Zhang's responsibilities do not change as a result of the promotion, it is reflective of her work in business development.

Zhang retains her role as head of Singapore, which she has occupied since October 2020. She joined Hamilton Lane as a vice-president in 2016. Previously, she spent eight years at BNP Paribas' equities and comodity structuring group, most recently as associate director for global markets and institutional solutions sales for Asia ex-Japan.

Zhang continues to report to Juan Delgado Moreira, vice-chairman of Hamilton Lane based in Hong Kong.