Affiliated Managers Group (AMG) has appointed Masato Degawa as senior adviser for Japan for its new Tokyo office.

The appointment took effect on July 31. Based in Tokyo, Degawa provides consulting services to AMG's global institutional distribution team as well as advice on future distribution and corporate strategy. He reports to London-based Hugh Cutler, executive vice-president and head of global distribution.

This role is a new position in AMG as the asset manager has not previously had a presence in Japan, a company spokesman said. AMG may appoint a head of business development in Japan in the future.

Degawa retired as the president and country head of Japan at BlackRock in 2015, and was succeeded by Yoshiyuki Izawa.


Rothschild & Co is closing its wealth management office in Singapore and will oversee its wealth management activities in Asia out of Hong Kong.

The Paris-headquartered group's Singapore branch will cease business at the end of September, and two people are still there helping to wind it down, a spokeswoman told AsianInvestor by email.

There are nine people in the Hong Kong office, and there had been a similar number in Singapore as recently as October 2015, the London-based chief operating officer of Rothschild’s wealth business, Richard Martin, had told AsianInvestor at the time.

Also at that time, more than 10% of Rothschild WM’s global assets under management of €21.6 billion ($25.1 billion) were sourced from Asia, Martin had said.

Audrey Zau remains Asia head of wealth management based in Hong Kong. Mike Hue had run the business in Singapore, reporting to Zau, until he left to join Schroders Wealth Management as a director in Singapore a month ago.


Swiss private bank EFG International has announced two senior changes to its management team in Asia.

Tho Gea Hong will become the new chief executive for Singapore, and Ivan Ferraroni will take up the newly created role of head of global markets for Asia in early October, based in Hong Kong.

Subject to regulatory approval, Tho will succeed Kong Eng Huat, who will retire at the end of 2018. Tho rejoins EFG from the Royal Bank of Canada, where she last served as Singapore CEO and head of wealth management for Southeast Asia since early 2016. She had previously served as Singapore head of private banking at EFG from 2012 to 2016.

Ferraroni will work closely with Albert Chiu and report to Maurizio Moranzoni, head of global markets, and to Kees Stoute, Hong Kong CEO. By creating Ferraroni’s role, EFG said it aims to improve its capital markets capabilities and services to clients in Asia.

Ferraroni previously worked for UBS in Singapore from 2011 to 2018, most recently as head of the Asia-Pacific client office and as a member of the Asia-Pacific global family office committee. UBS declined to comment on his departure. Ferraroni has also worked at Barclays Capital and RBS Global Banking & Markets.

EFG appears to be staging a recovery after a turbulent couple of years. On July 25 the bank reported net inflows of Sfr2 billion ($2 billion) for the first half of 2018 after recording Sfr5.9 billion in outflows last year; as of June 30 it has Sfr142 billion in AUM.

This came after EFG completed its acquisition of troubled Swiss private bank rival BSI in November 2016. The latter was ordered to close its Singapore branch in May 2016 by the local watchdog for serious regulatory breaches and staff misconduct.


Malaysia’s prime minister Mahathir Mohamad is replacing former premier Najib Razak as chairman of the coutnry's sovereign wealth fund, Khazanah, while Shahril Ridza Ridzuan is leaving his job as chief executive of the Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) to join Khazanah as managing director, the equivalent of a CEO role. 

The appointments were confirmed by statements from the prime minister office and the RM152.7 billion ($38.5 billion) fund. The appointments come after Khazanah said last Thursday (July 26) that all members of its board of directors had resigned.

Four other directors were appointed to Khazanah's board with immediate effect, including economic affairs minister Mohamed Azmin Ali.

The media office of EPF did not respond to emails about Shahril's departure or his successor. 


Amsterdam-based APG Asset Management, which runs €497 billion ($577 billion) of Dutch pension money, has hired Peter Branner as chief investment officer (CIO), effective September 1.

Peter Branner, APG

He will report to his predecessor, Ronald Wuijster, who became chief executive following the departure of Eduard van Gelderen in May last year. Wuijster had been overseeing the CIO role as well since then.

APG has substantial exposure to Asia, with around 10% of its total assets under management in the region and an investment office in Hong Kong with 42 staff.

Before joining APG, Branner was CEO and CIO of Sweden’s SEB Investment Management in Stockholm. He has also worked for Fortis Investments in London and Ikano Fund Management in Luxembourg.

SEB IM has started the search for Branner’s replacement, said a spokeswoman for SEB by email. Hans Ek, deputy CEO, has been appointed acting CEO in the interim.


Pimco has appointed Mitch Wang as general manager of its new unit in Taiwan.

Mitch Wang

Wang officially joined Pimco on May 23 and is leading a team focused on driving growth in the firm’s offshore fund business, expanding its distribution partnerships, and strengthening relationships with institutional clients and prospects in Taiwan, according to Pimco. He reports to Haining Yin, Hong Kong-based head of Greater China.

Pimco declined to say how large the team would be. It was continuing the hiring process, and would staff the business with a strong local team, a company spokeswoman said.

AsianInvestor reported back in April that Pimco was seeking regulatory approval and hiring staff for the new operation in Taiwan as it eyes increasing distribution of its funds in the country.

Pimco’ new onshore entity has obtained a licence to operate as a securities and investment consultant enterprise (Sice). Pending further regulatory approval sometime this year, the entity will act as master agent to distribute the firm’s 13 Pimco funds.  

Wang was most recently the head of intermediary business for Taiwan at Fil Securities Investment Trust, Fidelity International’s asset management operation on the island. Fidelity declined to comment on his departure.


Vontobel has relocated an executive from Zurich to Hong Kong to take up the role of head of investment management and chief operating officer for Asia Pacific at Vontobel Wealth Management.

Stephan Kolz

Stephan Kolz assumed the new role in Hong Kong on July 1 and reports to Alex Fung, Hong Kong-based CEO of Vontobel Wealth Management in Asia Pacific, a company spokesman said.

He was previously Zurich-based senior relationship manager at Vontobel Wealth Management, a company spokesman said.

Kolz replaced Michael Haupt in an extended capacity. Haupt was the previous Hong Kong-based COO and he will take up a new role in Switzerland within Vontobel, the spokesman said, declining to elaborate further. The company did not comment on who the previous head of investment management was or if there was such a role in the past.


South African fund manager Investec Asset Management has named Kang Lerong as head of advisor for Southeast Asia.

Kang Lerong

Kang is responsible for managing Investec AM’s advisor business in the region, and she reports to Kevin Kong, head of the Singapore office.

She started on June 1 and she is based in Singapore, an Investec AM spokeswoman said.

The role is newly created in order to strengthen Investec’s regional presence and client activity, the spokeswoman said. Prior to Kang’s appointment, the advisor business was covered by the regional Investec AM team.

She was most recently at UBS Private Bank in Hong Kong, where she was in strategy development and sales for Greater China. UBS did not respond to AsianInvestor queries on her last job title, her exit date, and whether a replacement has been named yet.


Australia's Macquarie Group has appointed a new CEO to take over when Nicholas Moore retires.

Shemara Wikramanayake, now group head of Macquarie Asset Management, will succeed Moore as Sydney-based managing director and CEO after he steps down on November 30.

Separately, Neil Arora has been appointed as Singapore-based head of Asia for Macquarie Capital, the division combining investment banking with advisory and fund management services. He was previously a senior managing director at the company and replaced Hajir Naghdy, who is believed to be leaving the company.

Macquarie declined to comment on the appointments.


UK wealth manager HSBC Private Banking has appointed Ken Tsang as Asia head of its global solutions group and Rachel Wei as co-market head in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong-based Tsang oversees the team that advises ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) clients in Asia on investment banking issues, such as mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt capital raising, loan financing, proprietary public and private investments, and structured lending.

He started his role on July 9, and reports to Jackie Mau, co-head of the investment services and product solutions group in Asia Pacific, an HSBC spokesman said.

The position is newly created, as previously the role responsibilities were covered by the wider investment services and product solutions group team, the spokesman added.

Tsang most recently led the Greater China strategic advisory team for UHNW clients at Swiss bank Credit Suisse.

Credit Suisse did not respond to AsianInvestor queries on Tsang’s exit date or whether a replacement had been named.

Wei started her role as Hong Kong co-market head on July 12, the HSBC spokesman said, and she reports to co-head of North Asia, Ivan Wong.

Rachel Wei

She leads the Hong Kong business together with co-head of market Annie Kwok, and is responsible for developing client relationships and collaboration with other HSBC businesses.

Former co-market head of Hong Kong Chingyee Yau, who was also co-head of North Asia, moved to become head of strategic client connectivity at HSBC PB in April, and Wei is replacing Yau for the Hong Kong role, the spokesman said.

Wei was most recently head of global trade and receivables finance (GTRF) for Hong Kong and Macau on HSBC’s commercial banking side. Jeanny Yip will replace Wei as head of GTRF in early August, the spokesman said.


Fidelity International, a Bermuda-based fund house with $430.7 billion under management, has hired Anne Richards as chief executive, an appointment that will take effect in December.

Richards is currently the CEO of UK fund house M&G Investments and deputy CEO of M&G Prudential. The latter business was formed last year by the merger of M&G Investments with the UK and Europe insurance business of its parent Prudential.

As part of the same reshuffle, John Foley, former CEO of Prudential’s UK and Europe business, became CEO of M&G Prudential. 

In her new, London-based role, Richards will replace Brian Conroy, who was president at Fidelity International and left the firm earlier this year to return to the US. She will report to chairman Abigail Johnson.

In the interim Simon Haslam had looked after Conroy’s former responsibilities in addition to his role as chief financial officer.

Before joining M&G Investments in June 2016, Richards was global chief investment officer and head of Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Aberdeen Asset Management (now Standard Life Aberdeen).

Fidelity International manages money for clients across Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and South America.


Janus Henderson has appointed London-based Dick Weil as its sole chief executive, following the resignation of co-CEO Andrew Formica. 

Weil had been co-CEO with Formica since the merger of Janus Capital and Henderson Global Investors in May last year. The board said now was the appropriate time for Janus Henderson to be led once again by a sole CEO as “the co-CEO structure has achieved its goals”.

While Formica has resigned, he agreed to continue on as an adviser to assist with final integration efforts through the end of the year, a company spokesman said.


Japanese fund manager Nikko Asset Management has hired a former Aberdeen Asset Management executive to lead its intermediary business development in Singapore.

Darius Foo has joined Nikko AM as head of intermediary business development, a Nikko AM spokeswoman confirmed.

Foo started his role in June, according to his LinkedIn profile. Nikko AM declined to comment on his starting date, what his role responsibilities are, who he reports to, and whether he is replacing anyone.

He was most recently senior manager of channel distribution at Aberdeen Asset Management, his LinkedIn profile shows. Aberdeen AM did not respond to AsianInvestor queries on Foo's last job title, his exit date, and whether a replacement has been announced yet.

Nikko AM also appointed Yamauchi Mari as the fifth outside director on its ten-member board of directors.

She started her directorship on August 1, a Nikko AM spokesman said. She is a visiting professor at Doshisha University Institute for Technology, Enterprise and Competitiveness.


Australian superannuation fund First State Super has appointed Michael Cole to the investment committee of First State Super Trustee Corporation.

Michael Cole

Cole started on March 1, and he, along with the rest of the committee, reports to the First State Super Trustee Corporation board, a First State Super spokeswoman said. The investment committee oversees A$90 billion ($66.3 billion) in retirement savings.

Cole is also chairman of two Australian asset managers, Ironbark Capital and Platinum Asset Management.

Other people news reported by AsianInvestor last week:

Canada’s PSP names CIO amid peer push into Asia