Weekly roundup of people news, Aug 11

Invesco hires former Fidelity portfolio manager; CIC hires quantitative investment head; Northern Trust names APAC head of global fund services; China Life gets new president; Aware Super makes two senior hires; and more.
Weekly roundup of people news, Aug 11


Raymond Ma

Invesco hired former Fidelity International portfolio manager Raymond Ma Lei as chief investment officer, Hong Kong and China, according to Invesco’s website.

AsianInvestor understands that Ma started no later than June.

Ma is based in Hong Kong.

Before joining Invesco, he spent 15 years at Fidelity International as a portfolio manager of several Greater China funds as well as some institutional segregated mandates.

He stepped down from the firm in 2021.

Invesco declined to comment on the hire. 


China Investment Corporation (CIC) hired Jane Zhao as managing director at the public equities department to oversee the quantitative stock investment team, according to a Bloomberg report citing people familiar with the matter.

The appointment came after former team head Zhang Rong’s resigned at the end of 2021, Bloomberg said.

Zhao is an experienced quant investor, having served as director of equities at PanAgora Asset Management from 2006 to 2016, and senior director of risk officer at Point72 until 2017.

She is now an adjunct professor at New York University and an independent global equity investment consultant, according to her LinkedIn.

CIC didn't respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.


Northern Trust has named Caroline Higgins as Head of Global Fund Services (GFS), Asia Pacific, effective October 1. 

Caroline Higgins

Higgins will oversee services to global investment managers including fund administration, depositary, global custody, transfer agency, investment operations outsourcing and data solutions – supporting a range of complex investment strategies across the full spectrum of asset classes.

Higgins, who joined Northern Trust in 2016, was most recently head of Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan at Northern Trust.

She will relocate to Australia and report to Toby Glaysher, president, GFS.

Higgins has previously worked at Brown Brothers Harriman, State Street, RBC Global Services, UBS Brinson and Citibank.   

Benze Lam, who was named head of the Hong Kong entity recently, will take on some of Higgin’s prior responsibilities, further details about other aspects of the role will be communicated in due course, a spokesperson told AsianInvestor.


Li Mingguang

China Life Insurance Company appointed Li Mingguang as the company’s new Communist Party chief and president, succeeding Zhao Peng, who joined the People's Insurance Company of China (PICC) as deputy party chief and president.

Li’s appointment as president is pending regulatory approval. He joined China Life in 1996 and had been the vice president of the company since November 2014 and the chief actuary since March 2012.

Zhao Peng

He was also a secretary to the party committee since July 2023.

Hou Jin will take over from Li as chief actuary of China Life.

Li’s appointment came after Zhao joined PICC in July.

Zhao first joined China Life in 2009 and served in many senior roles. He left the company from 2020 to 2022 to serve as the vice president of the Agricultural Development Bank of China, before returning in September 2022 as president and executive director.


Aware Super has appointed Simon Warner as head of portfolio management and Justin Howell as chief operating officer – investments, effective September.

They will both report to CIO Damian Graham.

Warner will lead development and deliver of the fund’s portfolio management across public market equities, private equity, property and infrastructure portfolios.

He was previously global head of public markets at AMP Capital, which has undergone major restructuring and sold various parts of its business in 2022.

Howell will be tasked with building investment enablement teams to support growth objectives with a focus on strategy among others.

It's not clear if there was any other person doing a similar role before Warner's hire.

Howell was previously global chief operating officer at Pendal group and was previously head of strategy and operations for First State Super (Aware Super’s predecessor fund) in 2017.

AsianInvestor understands that Howell’s role will be condensed into the broader Perpetual Group following Perpetual’s acquisition of Pendal earlier this year. 


Cbus Super has appointed Leigh Gavin as head of portfolio strategies.

The role was created to drive Cbus Super’s new five-year investment strategy, through which the Fund intends to internalise more than half its assets under management, while enhancing global partnerships for greater access to new investment.

Gavin joins Cbus from AustralianSuper, where he was most recently head of investment model design.

He was also CIO of LUCRF Super following a long career advising some of Australia's largest funds at Frontier Advisors.

Cbus did not respond to AsianInvestor enquiries about when Gavin joins the fund, whom Gavin reports to and who handled portfolio strategy responsibilities before the new hire.

AustralianSuper declined to comment on Gavin’s departure.


Lee Chul-joo

Affinity Equity Partners’ founding member and Managing Partner Lee Chul-joo, also known as CJ Lee, is resigning from the buyout firm.

Lee will step down on August 31, according to a company spokesperson.

Lee is the third Korean executive to leave the firm this year, according to a report by the Korea Economic Daily, following the departures of chairman Park Young-taeg and the head of its Seoul office, Sam Lee.

Lee, who is based in Hong Kong, was previously employed by UBS Capital Asia, joining the firm in 2001 before it was spun off in 2004 to become Affinity.

Lee’s supervisory responsibilities would be taken over by chairman and managing partner Tang Kok-Yew.

AsianInvestor understands that Lee will be joining his family business, Seoul-based cloud service provider Bespin Global.


Singapore-based venture capital firm Antler has appointed Frank Kang as its associate partner and country head for Malaysia.

Frank Kang

Kang’s role, which he commenced earlier this month, is newly created and follows Antler’s launch in Malaysia in July.

He is based in Kuala Lumpur, reporting to Jussi Salovaara, Antler’s co-founder and managing partner for Asia, and leads the company’s investment strategy and operations in Malaysia.

Before joining Antler, Kang was a venture partner at Kuala Lumpur-headquartered Vynn Capital and an angel investor and adviser.

As of press time, Vynn Capital had not responded to AsianInvestors request for comment on who would replace Kang.

Yong Duk Kim

Vontobel Asset Management has appointed Yong Duk Kim as head for South Korea.

Kim commenced in the role on August 8.

He is based in Hong Kong and reports to Wei Kai Lee, Vontobel AM's head of Asia-Pacific.His role is newly created, having previously been covered as part of the firm’s North Asia operations.

He will manage relationships with investors in South Korea as Vontobel AM expands its activities in Asia-Pacific.

Kim joined from PGIM Fixed Income, where he spent two-and-a-half years as the company’s Korea offshore representative.

PGIM Fixed Income declined to comment when asked who would replace Kim.

Before joining PGIM Fixed Income, Kim spent 15 years at UBS Asset Management and its joint venture in Korea, UBS Hana Asset Management.


Theodore Heng

Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow, the member firm of Baker McKenzie in Singapore, has appointed Theodore Heng as principal in its mergers and acquisitions (M&A) practice group based in Singapore, effective August 7.

Heng will report to Boo Bee Chun, principal and head of M&A practice in Singapore, a spokesperson told AsianInvestor.

Heng’s role is an addition to the M&A and PE team in Singapore as part of Baker McKenzie’s strategy to grow its transactional practice in key global money and business centres, the spokesperson added.

In Asia, Baker McKenzie has in 2023 onboarded finance and projects partner Jon Ornolfsson in Tokyo as well as capital markets lawyers Chen Sheng in Hong Kong and Yang Yingfei in China with the joint operation platform partner FenXun Partners.

Heng joins the Firm from Herbert Smith Freehills in Singapore where he was a corporate lawyer with a focus on M&A. Herbert Smith Freehills did not respond to AsianInvestors enquiries about when Heng left the firm and who would replace him.


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