Weekly roundup of people news, Aug 30

Malaysia's PNB lures CEO from Invesco; Manulife IM makes asset allocation hires; Apac property heads exit BlackRock, Nuveen; Janus Henderson replaces EM team; private bank recruiter Bevan joins Executive Access; Natixis IM hires SE Asia wholesale head, and more.
Weekly roundup of people news, Aug 30


Invesco's Singapore chief Jalil Rasheed is moving to head Malaysian state investment fund Permodalan Nasional Berhad.

Rasheed will start at PNB as chief executive on October 1, the MYR300 billion ($72 billion) fund said in a statement on August 28. Current incumbent Rahman Ahmad will step down on September 30.

PNB said Rasheed's appointment was "in line with the government’s wish to make optimal use of Malaysian global talents and consistent with PNB’s strategic initiative to diversify its assets globally”.

Rasheed has worked at Invesco for six years and overesees the US asset manager's South Asian operations. Before that, he was CEO of Aberdeen Islamic Asset Management, based in Kuala Lumpur.

Ahmad will become the non-independent and non-executive chairman at Sime Darby, of which PNB owns 52%, on the retirement of Aziz Abdullah on October 31. 


BlackRock has confirmed that Greg Lapham, head of investments for Asia Pacific real estate, will step down from the role he has held for some six years at the end of September.  

Hamish MacDonald

Lapham is leaing to pursue other opportunities, John Saunders, head of Asia-Pacific real estate at the US funds giant, told AsianInvestor by email.

Hamish MacDonald, BlackRock’s Australia head of real estate, will see his role expand to cover real estate investments across Asia Pacific, Saunders said.

Before joining BlackRock in Hong Kong, Lapham had worked for four years as Asia chief financial officer at MGPA, the Singapore-based private equity investment firm that was acquired by BlackRock six years ago.

Lapham did not respond to inquiries about his future plans. 


Chris Reilly

US asset manager Nuveen saw its Asia-Pacific property head depart in July.

Chris Reilly, previously Asia-Pacific managing director at Nuveen Real Estate, left in July to spend more time with his family and pursue other interests and opportunities, said a Nuveen spokeswoman.

Nick Evans, head of Australia at Nuveen RE, will oversee the Asia-Pacific platform in the interim, and Carsten Kebbedies will take over Reilly’s regulatory responsibilities for Singapore.

Reilly’s broader responsibilities are being absorbed by the interim leadership team. The comapny did not immediately respond to requests on whether there will eventually be a direct replacement for Reilly. 

Nick Evans

Nuveen RE’s regional leadership team currently comprises Carsten Kebbedies, Asia-Pacific head of product and solutions; Nick Evans, head of Australia and interim head of Asia Pacific; Louise Kavanagh, manager of the Asia Pacific Cities Fund; Joe Magrath, director of development in Asia Pacific; and Kirsten Farrelly, Asia-Pacific head of finance.

Reilly joined Nuveen Real Estate – at the time TH Real Estate – as managing director of Asia Pacific in 2014. Prior to that, he spent 17 years as Asia head of property at Henderson Global Investors, according to his LinkedIn page. 

Reilly did not respond to queries sent via LinkedIn about his future plans.


Janus Henderson Investors has hired four emerging market equity professionals from Putnam Investments to replace its previous team, which is in the process of departing.

One of the individuals is based in Singapore and three are in Boston. They are due to start in the new roles on September 9.

Daniel Graña joins in Boston as portfolio manager of global emerging market equities and leader of the team, reporting to George Maris, Denver-based co-head of equities. Graña will assume responsibility for managing Janus Henderson’s global EM funds before the end of November.

Janus Henderson has also appointed Matthew Culley as assistant portfolio manager and research analyst, and Matthew Doody and Peter Li as research analysts. Culley and Doody are based in Boston and Li is in Singapore. 

Graña had been responsible for Putnam’s EM equity effort since 2003. Before that he was an analyst in the firm’s EM team covering the financials and consumer sectors from 1999 to 2002. He has also worked at Merrill Lynch.

The four-strong team left Putnam on August 23, a Putnam spokesman told AsianInvestor. As of August 23, Brian Freiwald has been named portfolio manager of Putnam's $135 million emerging markets fund, and Andrew Yoon is now assistant portfolio manager.

Previously Freiwald was an emerging market equity analyst who joined Putnam in 2010. Yoon is a portfolio manager and analyst focused on international small-cap and EM equity. He joined Putnam in 2011.

The responsibilities of Culley, Weiss and Li have been assumed by other members of the team, the Putnam spokesman added. 

Janus Henderson’s former Edinburgh-based EM equity team will depart the firm on or before November 30. It comprises Stephen Deane, Nicholas Cowley, Michael Cahoon and Ian Tabberer. Glen Finegan, the previous head of EM equity, had left the firm on April 18.


Manulife Investment Management has named Luke Browne as head of asset allocation for Asia and Sue Trinh as senior macro strategist.

Browne joined in London on August 26, reporting to Nathan Thooft, Boston-based global head of asset allocation.

Browne effectively replaces Peter Warnes, formerly Hong Kong-based international head of portfolio solutions, who left the firm last year, a spokesman said.

Browne will work closely with Hong Kong-based Sarah Lu, who also holds the title of head of asset allocation for Asia, a spokeswoman told AsianInvestor

Browne was previously head of investment solution specialists at UBS Asset Management in London. Rob Worthington, who is based in Hong Kong, was appointed to succeed Browne in June on a permanent basis, a UBS spokeswoman said. She did not respond to queries on when Browne departed. 

Meanwhile Trinh joined Manulife IM on August 27. She replaced Geoff Lewis, who shifted roles to become senior Asia strategist. Based in Hong Kong, Trinh reports to Frances Donald, Toronto-based chief economist and head of macroeconomic strategy. 

Trinh was previously head of Asia foreign exchange strategy at RBC Capital Markets in Hong Kong. The firm confirmed Trinh's departure but declined to comment on when she left or whether her role will be replaced.

These recent hires follow the April arrival of Paul Kalogirou in Hong Kong as multi-asset client portfolio manager He reports to Thierry Taglione, Asia head of client portfolio managers. The spokeswoman could not immediately comment on who Kalogirou has replaced.

This story has been updated to show that Browne replaced Peter Warnes.


Natixis Investment Managers has hired Diane Poon as head of wholesale for Southeast Asia ex-Singapore from rival Pimco and Bonnie Wan as vice president for distribution marketing from UBS Asset Management.

Diane Poon

Poon and Wan joined the firm in Singapore on August 13 and July 29, respectively. Both report to Madeline Ho, Singapore-based head of wholesale fund distribution for Asia.

Wan primarily suports the wholesale and retail sales team in Singapore, SE Asia and Hong Kong to execute marketing campaigns.

Poon’s role is newly created; her duties were previously executed by the Singapore wholesale team. Wan replaced Jean Tan, whose last day was May 24, said a company spokeswoman.

Poon was most recently Singapore-based account manager for global wealth management business at bond house Pimco and her last day with the firm was July 9, said a Pimco spokeswoman. AsianInvestor understands that the firm is identifying Poon’s replacement.

UBS Asset Management declined to comment on Wan's departure.


Hong Kong-based search firm Executive Access has lured Geoffrey Bevan from rival The Laurus Group as head of private banking, effective August 26, as it expands its asset and wealth management practice.

Bevan joins Philip Eisenbeiss, head of wealth and asset management, who has been with Executive Access for 18 years. The firm has also added two others to the private banking team in Hong Kong in the past quarter, and there have not been any departures in recent months, Eisenbeiss told AsianInvestor.

Bevan will run private banking searches in his newly created role, while Eisenbeiss will continue focusing on C-suite search mandates in wealth and asset management, investment products and services. 

Bevan was Asia-Pacific head of private banking and family offices at Laurus in Hong Kong for nearly a year, before which he was head of private banking and family office search for 11 years at Executive Search, also in Hong Kong.

Laurus is seeking a replacement for Bevan, a well-placed source said. Jason Orange, managing director for corporate finance and capital markets, and chief executive Mark Jones are running the wealth management desk until they decide on a successor, the source added.


Andrea Han has left the role of head of marketing for Southeast Asia at Franklin Templeton in August after some six years with the US investment manager. 
Han departed to explore external opportunities and Franklin Templeton is seeking a replacement, a spokeswoman said. 
Goh Hui Kheng, marketing director for Asia, will handle her former responsibilities in the interim, the spokeswoman said.


Grace Hayman

Northern Trust has named Grace Hayman as senior relationship manager for its securities lending business in Australia and New Zealand, starting from August 1, according to a spokesman. 

Based in Sydney, Hayman will also be responsible for leading securities lending business development across the Pacific region, in a newly created role. She will continue to report to Mark Snowdon, head of capital markets in Asia Pacific for Northern Trust.

The spokesman said the new position was created "to support the increasing demand for securities lending solutions from asset managers and asset owners, and in response to the growth of Northern Trust’s securities lending client base in the region".

Hayman most recently worked in Northern Trust’s Singapore office, where she oversaw client coverage for securities lending in Southeast Asia. This role has been filled internally, but the company did not respond to requests for the identity of the individual. 

Hayman has also held a number of securities lending product and client management roles in Northern Trust’s London office.


RBC Wealth Management, part of Royal Bank of Canada, hired two executives in July, one in Hong Kong and one Singapore.

Andrew Cheng

Andrew Cheng joins in Hong Kong as an executive director for private banking, while Andrew White joins in Singapore as a director for private banking, as part of the firm's efforts to build out its client base. 

Cheng joins from Indosuez WM in Hong Kong where he was a managing director. He left the firm in August 2018, a spokesman said, declining to comment on his official work focus or whether and how the firm would replace Cheng.

White was most recently Asia chief investment officer for UK multi-family office Sandaire’s Singapore office, which did not respond to an online corporate communications query about his departure.

Both their RBC roles are newly created to serve the needs of existing clients and to help grow target client segment of Asia’s global families. The functions were previously dealt with by the North Asia and Southeast private banking teams, respectively, a company spokeswoman said.

Cheng reports to Vicky Lin, Hong Kong-based deputy head of private banking for Greater China, while White reports to Dom Lane, Singapore-based team head for private banking.


Swiss group UBS has seen several senior departures and appointments in its asset and wealth management business.

Ulrich Koerner will step down from his current role as Zurich-based president of UBS Asset Management and president of UBS for Europe, Middle East and Africa (Emea) on October 1, but will remain with UBS as senior adviser to the group CEO until at least March 31 next year.

Suni Harford, currently head of investments at UBS Asset Management, will succeed Koerner as president for asset management. She will remain in New York. An announcement will be made in due course about her successor as head of investments.

Meanwhile, Sabine Keller-Busse will succeed Koerner as president for Emea at UBS, in addition to her current role as group chief operating officer. She is based in Zurich.

At UBS Wealth Management, Martin Blessing will leave his current Zurich-based role as co-president for global wealth management and will be replaced by Iqbal Khan on October 1. Khan was the former CEO of international wealth management at Credit Suisse. He was succeeded by Philipp Wehle, previously the chief financial officer of international wealth management at Credit Suisse, on July 1.

Blessing will remain with UBS until December 31 to help with the transition.


The Hong Kong Stock Exchange has appointed Rico Leung as member of its risk management committee.

Leung was recently appointed executive director of supervision of markets at the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), and he succeeded Keith Lui’s position at the committee and SFC, a HKEX spokesman said. Lui will be retiring later this month, according to a release by SFC.

Leung was previously senior director of supervision of markets division. His new role became effective on August 28 for a term of three years.

Other people news reported by AsianInvestor in the last week:

Invesco seen breaking new ground with A-share hire

BNP Paribas AM loses Asia insurance strategy head

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