Julius Baer names new Asia-Pacific head
Swiss private bank Julius Baer has hired Jimmy Lee to be its new Asia-Pacific head.

Lee will join Julius Baer on October 1 and will become Asia head on January 1 next year. Lee will take over from Thomas Meier, who will return to Zurich to become non-executive vice chairman of wealth management on January 1, 2016.

Lee will divide his time between Hong Kong and Singapore and will report to Julius Baer CEO Boris Collardi.

Lee comes from Credit Suisse, where he was most recently market group head for Hong Kong. Previously he was CEO of Swiss private bank Clariden Leu from 2009-2012, and led its Asia-Pacific integration with Credit Suisse.

Prior to that, Lee was head of private wealth management for Southeast Asia and South Asia at Deutsche Bank for five years.

It is understood that Alex Ng, Credit Suisse's China market group head for Asia-Pacific private banking and the bank’s Hong Kong branch manager, will oversee the Hong Kong private banking market in the interim. A decision on Lee’s successor is expected to be announced in due course.

Credit Suisse declined to comment.

Singapore-based Meier has been Julius Baer’s Asia head since 2005. Prior to that he was head of wealth management at Deutsche Bank in Luxembourg from 2004-2005, and North Asia CEO for Credit Suisse between 2000-2004, according to his LinkedIn profile. Early on in his career, Meier worked at Credit Suisse around the world from 1988-1999.

When he returns to Zurich, Meier will report to Collardi. As part of his new role, Julius Baer said Meier would take over various key tasks at the group level.

StanChart hires discretionary portfolio director
Standard Chartered Bank has hired Ajay Saratchandran as director of discretionary portfolio management. Singapore-based Saratchandran joined StanChart on July 6 and reports to Christian Abuide, head of discretionary portfolio management.

A StanChart spokesperson told AsianInvestor that Saratchandran will primarily be focused on managing the bank’s existing range of sub-advised strategies as well as developing this offering going forward. He will also contribute to the management of StanChart’s internally-managed funds’ portfolios.

A StanChart spokesperson was unable to say whether Saratchandran had replaced anyone, or whether it was a newly-created role.

Saratchandran comes from Manulife Financial in Hong Kong, where he was head of investment management services for Asia until he left in May this year. His role there as fund selector will be filled by Bruno Lee, who will be joining Manulife from Fidelity Worldwide Investment.

Saratchandran joined Manulife in November 2013, and was in charge of investment manager due diligence, portfolio construction and investment consulting for the region.

Prior to Manulife, Saratchandran was director of mutual funds, ETFs and alternatives at ANZ’s wealth business between May 2009-November 2013. Based in Singapore, he headed due diligence, portfolio construction and strategy.

Saratchandran was previously a research consultant, having worked at Mercer Investment Consulting between April 2006-May 2009 responsible for manager research and fund selection.

La Trobe boosts distribution sales team
Fund manager La Trobe Financial has hired Bonnie Hill to bolster its distribution sales team. Melbourne-based Hill joined on May 25 as a senior manager for client partnership in La Trobe’s wealth and funds management division. She will report to La Trobe’s CIO Chris Andrews.

Hill was previously a director at financial advisory firm Direct Super Solutions between July 2009-May 2015, according to her LinkedIn profile. Between July 2005-January 2007 she was a business development manager at Russell Investments.

Axa RE IM opens Seoul office
Axa Real Estate Investment Managers has opened an office in Korea and has recruited Cho Yun Seok to head it up. Cho has joined the firm as head of business development in Korea, Axa RE IM announced on August 6. The office opened on the same date. Seoul-based Cho reports to Frank Khoo, Axa RE IM’s head of Asia.

Axa RE IM said Cho will be responsible for business development activities across Asia whilst supporting Axa Real Estate’s capital-raising efforts in Korea.

Cho joins from Simone Investment Manager, a real estate investment manager in Korea, where he was most recently head of acquisition. Prior to Simone, Yun worked at Hanwha Asset Management for three years as a senior manager.

The Seoul office is Axa RE IM’s third in Asia, following on from Singapore in 2008 and Tokyo in 2006.

Eversheds hires partner for PE
Law firm Eversheds has hired Charles Butcher as a corporate partner in its Hong Kong office in a bid to grow its private equity and M&A business. Butcher will join the firm on August 24. In the newly-created position he will report to Stephen Mok, Asia head of corporate, and will work with Stephen Kitts, Asia managing partner.

Based in Hong Kong since 2007, Butcher has focused on private equity, venture capital and public and private M&A. He has advised on cross-border investments, divestments, joint ventures, restructuring and financing transactions.

Butcher was previously a consultant at law firm Hogan Lovells in Hong Kong between March 2007-July 2015.

White & Case sets up shop in Korea
Law firm White & Case is to open an office in Korea after receiving approval on August 7. The office will be headed by James Lee, who leads the Korea practice group and will relocate to Seoul from Los Angeles. He will be joined initially by Mark Goodrich, a construction practice group partner in London who will be transferring to Seoul, and Kyungseok Kim, who recently joined the firm as a partner in the global M&A practice.

Lee will head the office, and all three partners will report to Eric Berg, global head of Asia.    

Lee has worked at White & Case since October 2010, and was previously a partner at K&L Gates between October 2004-October 2010. Goodrich has been at White & Case since December 2007 and previously worked at Lovells between February 1996-October 2007. Kim joined earlier this year from Linklaters in Hong Kong, where he had worked since 2007.

In Korea White & Case currently advises on private equity, M&A, commercial litigation and international arbitration matters.

White & Case said it planned to grow the office headcount over the next two years, but could not give a specific target.

Other people news reported by AsianInvestor over the past week:

Manulife hires Bruno Lee for Asia wealth, AM role

Mark Konyn leaves Cathay Conning AM

Sun Life prepares to open HK asset management firm