Manulife unveils Singapore CEO in latest hire
The combined asset and wealth management business of insurer Manulife announced the appointment of Wendy Lim from BNY Mellon Investment Management as its new chief executive officer for Singapore. It comes as the latest senior hire at the firm.

Lim started on December 1, filling a role that had been vacant since June when senior managing director Jill Smith moved on. In a statement Manulife said Smith had moved on to a new role in the firm, but a spokesperson was unable to confirm what that new role was.

Lim’s mandate is to develop Manulife AM’s wealth and asset management business in Singapore, working with life insurance and distribution partners to deliver investment solutions across mutual funds, pension and investment-linked insurance platforms.

The firm’s Singapore office also acts as a hub for Asean, meaning Lim will also focus her attention on improving relations with bank partners across the region. She reported to Michael Dommermuth, head of wealth and asset management for Asia.

Lim has spent most of her 24-year career in financial services in Asia Pacific. Previously she served as Singapore CEO and managing director of business development and marketing across Asia Pacific at BNY Mellon Investment Management.

A spokeswoman for BNY Mellon Investment Management declined to comment when asked if it had replaced Lim.

Separately, Manulife AM also announced that it had appointed Bonnie Lam as head of partnership development for wealth and asset management in a newly created role based in Hong Kong. She started on November 24, reporting to Bruno Lee, head of partnership, product and platform development for wealth and asset management across the region.

Lam’s role is to facilitate investor access to Manulife’s solutions by building and supporting partnerships with new and existing third-party distributors.

Previously she spent 15 years with HSBC Global Asset Management in Hong Kong, including six years as regional head of wholesale business.

Manulife AM said both appointments represented further progress in the integration of its wealth and asset management units in Asia. Recent senior appointments include Bruno Lee as head of partnership, product and platform development for wealth and asset management; Frederick Reidenbach as chief financial officer; and Grace Ho as chief marketing officer for Asia.

Ravi Sriskandarajah

BMO Global AM unveils Asia chief
Canada’s BMO Financial Group announced the promotion of Ravi Sriskandarajah to head of its asset management business for Asia Pacific.

Based in Hong Kong, Sriskandarajah becomes responsible for management oversight, governance and leading the organisation’s growth strategy across the region.

He replaces Amit Prakash, who moved on to a global role within BMO as managing director of global ETFs and alternative investments for the global asset management business.

Sriskandarajah initially joined the bank in 2013 to lead BMO Global Asset Management’s expansion into Australia. He reports to Barry McInerney, co-CEO of BMO Global Asset Management, and Albert Yu, chief executive officer for Asia at BMO Financial Group.

In a statement, Yu said: “I look forward to working closely with [Sriskandarajah] as we continue to expand our footprint in the region.”

McInerney added that BMO was now recruiting to replace Sriskandarajah to lead its institutional sales business in Australia.

BMO Global Asset Management has 27 offices in 17 countries with more than C$310 billion ($) in AUM as at end-October.

Canadian bank BMO has a subsidiary in mainland China and branches in Hong Kong and Singapore, along with rep offices in Beijing and Taipei. It also has a 28% stake in Shanghai-based Fullgoal Fund Management and a 19.99% stake in Cofco Trust Company in Beijing.

Change at the top for NZ Super board
A new chairman has been appointed to the board of guardians that oversees the $30 billion New Zealand Superannuation Fund. Catherine Savage will take up the role from January 1 next year.

Savage has been a board member since 2009 and deputy chairman since 2012. She serves as managing director of Savage Group, chair of the National Provident Fund and an independent director of Kiwibank, Todd Family Office and Pathfinder Asset Management.

She succeeds Gavin Walker, who has chaired the so-called Guardians since 2012 and was first appointed to the board in 2010. Walker said he had resigned the chairmanship to focus on a smaller group of board commitments.

“The Fund is performing strongly and is well placed for the future,” he commented. “With a strong board, experienced management team and a proven investment strategy, I feel I am leaving it in good hands.”

Savage expressed delight at stepping up. “The New Zealand Superannuation Fund is a vitally important institution for our country, children and future generations,” she said. “My fellow board members and I take the responsibility of investing taxpayer money very seriously.”

She added that the board remained committed to the Fund’s long-term investment strategies, leading approach to responsible investment and high degree of transparency. Current Guardians Board member Lindsay Wright has been appointed deputy chair.

Wright currently serves as regional head of institutional, alternatives and investment solutions business for Asia Pacific at Invesco Hong Kong. Prior to that she was CEO of Harvest Alternatives Investment Group and co-CEO Harvest Capital Management.

She was appointed to the Guardians board in 2012 and is also on the board of directors at Kiwibank.

CBRE creates Greater China role
US real estate firm CBRE announced it had hired Alan Li from rival JLL as head of capital markets for Greater China in what it says is a newly created role.

Li was due to start in the role in mid-December based in Shanghai, where he will be responsible for managing capital markets teams across Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China.

He reports to North Asia president Ben Duncan and to Richard Kirke, managing director of CBRE’s capital markets business for CBRE. “This is further evidence of our commitment to growing our capital markets business in Greater China,” said Kirke in a statement.

CBRE is headquartered in Los Angeles and serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers across more than 400 offices worldwide, excluding affiliates.

TH Real Estate adds head of Asia research
Fledgling investment management firm TH Real Estate announced it had hired Harry Tan as head of research for Asia Pacific, effective from December 1.

Tan is now responsible for providing advice to both the corporate business and its clients, working closely with internal teams across the region.

He joined the firm from Grosvenor in Hong Kong, where he had served as head of research since 2007. He has directed research on Asian property markets and played a key role in capital allocation and product development.

In Asia Pacific TH Real Estate is headquartered in Singapore, and it has offices in Shanghai and Sydney. It specializes in real estate equity and debt investment worldwide. It has $89 billion of real estate assets across around 50 funds and mandates, the vast majority in the US and Europe.

More people news reported by AsianInvestor in the past week:

Au King Lun quits BOC HK for new role

Conning hires Kratz for Asia buildout

Eastspring unveils new HK chief

Credit Suisse names head of Asian AM business