Samsung Group unveils management reshuffle
Korea’s domestically dominant Samsung Group has unveiled an internal management reshuffle across its asset management, life insurance and securities businesses.
 
Samsung Asset Management Company, Korea’s largest fund house with $117 billion in AUM as of December 11, announced the appointment of Koo Sunghoon as its new chief executive at the start of this month.
 
He takes over the role from Raymond Yoon, who was named as the new head of Samsung Securities at the same time, having held the CEO position at Samsung AMC for two years.

Domestic media announced this week that Koo had already made internal structural changes, creating three divisions: active (equities, fixed income, hedge funds and research); passive (ETFs and index management); and marketing solutions.
 
Koo told AsianInvestor: “My goal as the new CEO of Samsung AMC is to lead the firm to become recognised as being the best long-term investment management company in Asia.”
 
Previously Koo was chief investment officer of Samsung Life Insurance, a role he took up in December last year. Jeon Young Muk has taken over as the new CIO at Samsung Life.
 
Koo first joined the Samsung Economic Research Institute in 1987. In 2003 he was appointed CIO of the special accounts division of Samsung Life Insurance. Since then he has taken on a number of investment management roles at Samsung.Samsung Life is the 100% owner of Samsung AMC.

Generali hires asset management chief for Asia
The Asian asset management arm of Italian insurer Generali announced the appointment of Yezdi Chinoy as its new chief executive for the region.

Generali Investments Asia noted that Chinoy would relocate from Singapore to Hong Kong, the group’s Asia headquarters. He replaces Terence Wong, who was moved upstairs to deputy chairman.

Chinoy was hired from Allianz Global Investors Singapore, where he had worked as its head of compliance for Southeast Asia and South Asia since 2008.

While Chinoy will focus on asset management, his predecessor was responsible for the group’s insurance operations in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.

Neither Chinoy nor Wong could be reached for comment. Allianz Global Investors Singapore declined to comment on whether it had replaced Chinoy.

Generali Investments Asia provides advisory and asset management services to the Generali Group’s insurance entities, and acts as an investment manager for the group’s funds in Asia.

He to head BNPP IP’s Shanghai office
French fund house BNP Paribas Investment Partners has announced the opening of its new investment advisory business in Shanghai, to be headed by general manager Danny He.

BNP Paribas Investment Advisory (Shanghai) opened for business on December 11. It is registered in the city’s free trade zone (although based elsewhere in the city) under the wholly foreign-owned enterprise (WFOE) scheme, making it the firm’s first fully owned office in mainland China.

As general manager, He will manage the office’s daily operations with responsibility for driving business strategy and fostering client relationships, including with local regulators.

He oversees four back-office staff, with further plans to recruit two business development support staff within the next few weeks, confirmed a spokesman for BNPP IP. Overseeing He is Tan-Feng Cheng, head of Greater China business at BNP Paribas Investment Partners in Hong Kong.

Prior to joining the French bank’s investment arm this month, He was a partner at China Highland Fund and chairman of the Centre of University Technology Industry Development in Beijing.

Vincent Camerlynck, Asia Pacific CEO for BNP Paribas Investment Partners, said the opening of the office complemented its decade-old partnership with Haitong Securities. The joint venture, known as HFT Investment Management, manages about $20 billion.

BNP Paribas Investment Partners globally employs about 700 investment professionals and has €508 billion ($629.6 billion) of total assets under management.

Generali Real Estate names Asia head
Generali Real Estate (GRE), the property investment arm of Italian insurer Generali, announced the appointment of Andy Tan as head of its Asia operations this week.

Singapore-based Tan is tasked with overseeing GRE’s Asian portfolio, including new investments and enhancement of existing assets.

GRE has €28 billion ($34.7 billion) of property assets – four-fifths of which are based in three European markets (Italy, France and Germany), while the majority of assets (64%) are office buildings.

GRE’s focus has been on prime commercial real estate in core markets that the group underwrites insurance in. It is expanding its Asia footprint, both in insurance underwriting and investment.

Previously Tan was executive vice-president of MEAG (Munich Ergo Asset Management) Pacific Star Asset Management, responsible for its Asian real estate business from 2007 to 2013. From 1998-2005 he was a vice-president at GIC Real Estate, covering Asia, Australia and European investments for the real estate arm of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund.

Tan has been chairman of the Singapore chapter of the Asia Pacific Real Estate Association since September 2012. He is also a board member and governing council member of the Singapore Institute of Directors.

AMP Capital boosts infrastructure team
Australia-based fund house AMP Capital has added two staff to its infrastructure equity team in New York, bringing the manager’s team in the city to nine investment professionals across infrastructure debt and equity.

Michael Hamilton joined AMP Capital on December 8 in a newly created position as investment director, focusing on sourcing energy-related infrastructure deals and managing assets owned by AMP Capital in the Americas. He joined from Blue Wave Capital Partners and held roles at RBC Capital Markets and Hastings Funds Management before that.

Andrew Kirby joined the Australian asset manager on November 10, replacing previous associate Nirav Shah. Kirby joined from Rothschild, where he worked on infrastructure M&A transactions.

Dylan Foo, AMP Capital's head of Americas for infrastructure equity, said in a statement that the firm was building on its expertise in the power and energy sector "where we are seeing a lot of opportunities for our investors”.

A company spokeswoman added only that the New York office was growing, but declined to comment on whether the firm was seeing strong demand from Asian investors for energy assets in the Americas.

Liquidnet unveils algo development trio
Institutional trading network Liquidnet announced three hires for its newly launched Execution and Quantitative Services (EQS) group, all based in New York.

It welcomed Scott Kartinen as head of algorithm development; Roberto Malamut as head of quantitative research; and Amar Vaidya as an algo developer.

They all report to Rob Laible, who joined Liquidnet this July to establish the EQS group, which was created to support Liquidnet’s geographic expansion and requires algorithms to be adapted to different markets.

Previously Kartinen worked in algo-trading product development roles at UBS Securities (2011-14) and ITG (2000-11). Meanwhile, Malamut held algorithm modelling, forecasting and trading roles at Agoge Capital (2012-14), Tower Research Capital (2009-11), SAC Capital (2006-09) and JP Morgan Chase (2004-06).

Vaidya has spent part of his career in Hong Kong, working for ITG (2008-09). He has also worked in electronic trading roles for Fidelity Investments (2001-07), Nomura Securities (2009-13) and Shuban Capital (2013-14). Kartinen and Malamut’s careers have been US-based.

Laible noted that rather than rewriting commoditised volume-weighted average price (VWAP) strategies to eke out an extra basis point of performance, "we are thinking more strategically about the challenges traders face, how to navigate between dark and lit venues and take back control of their order flow".

Before joining Liquidnet, Laible spent seven-and-a-half years in Hong Kong, most recently as Macquarie’s Asia head of program trading and electronic execution.

AllianzGI hires alternative investment manager
Spencer Rhodes has assumed the newly created role of alternative investments global business manager at Allianz Global Investors (AllianzGI) based in London.

Rhodes declined to give details of any plans for new hires in Asia associated with his move. He said he planned to visit Hong Kong in January and that more alternative strategies would be launched in Asia over the next two years – including those managed in the region and elsewhere.

It follows the setting up of alternative investments as the fourth pillar of AllianzGI’s global investment platform this week – alongside equities, fixed income and multi-asset.

Currently, AllianzGI has alternative strategy portfolio managers based in Hong Kong, New York, London, Frankfurt and Paris. Two alternative strategies are managed in Hong Kong – both long/short equity funds.

Japanese institutions are the main Asia-based investors in AllianzGI’s alternative strategies, noted Rhodes, adding that the vast majority of investors in the firm’s alt strategies were institutional investors.

AllianzGI’s alternative investment AUM more than doubled over the past 12 months – from €2.1 billion ($2.6 billion) in October 2013 to €5.4 billion in October 2014 – and now account for just over 10% of the firm’s AUM overall.

Rhodes joined AllianzGI in July 2013, initially working for the firm’s London-based CIO. Between 2008 to 2013 he was San Francisco-based chief operating officer of Tradewinds Investment Management, an emerging markets-focused hedge fund, which converted to a family office last year. Prior to that he worked for BlackRock.

RBC GAM names co-chief executives
RBC Global Asset Management has appointed Damon Williams and Alex Khein as co-CEOs of the Canada-based business. They replace John Montalbano, chief executive of RBC GAM, who takes on a new role as vice-chairman of RBC Wealth Management.

RBC GAM has more than $350 billion in assets under management globally and about 1,200 staff in Asia, North America and Europe. In Asia, RBC GAM has offices in Hong Kong, China, Singapore and Brunei.

Research firm MRB adds Asia specialists
Investment research firm the MacroResearchBoard (MRB) has made a number of new hires to strengthen its capabilities.

Adam Wolfe has joined the firm’s London office as an Asia strategist. He will focus on developing macro investment themes and strategies for China and emerging Asia markets.

Wolfe was previously director of emerging Asia for Roubini Global Economics, where his responsibilities included producing macro forecasts for the region and asset-class implications.

Meanwhile Cecilia Tyynela has been hired as director of client relations in MRB’s London office to oversee the firm’s expansion in Asia, northern Europe and Africa.

She previously worked for BCA Research, where she oversaw strategic research sales and business development in South Africa and Scandinavia.

MRB made a number of other hires with no Asia relevance.

Other people moves reported by AsianInvestor.net in the past week:

Italian firm Eurizon targets HK buildout

BSI North Asia chief Heer to retire in new year