AMP Capital names global equity head, loses quant team
AMP Capital has named David Allen as its first global head of equities based in London, effective March 2016, and Richard Colquhoun as senior portfolio manager of Australian fundamental equities, effective January 2016.

The global equities role was created in June this year with a view to moving in a new strategic direction in global equities.

Allen will have responsibility for all equities teams across four global locations, including Australia, overseeing A$40 billion in assets under management. He will report to Mark Beardow, global equities and fixed income chief investment officer at AMP Capital. 

Allen was most recently co-head of asset management at Sarasin & Partners in London. Prior to this, he was London-based co-head of equities at US fund house Fidelity Worldwide Investment and has also worked at Boston-based Pioneer Investments.  

Colquhoun will assume responsibility for the Equity Opportunities Fund and Concentrated Fund, reporting to Michael Price, head of Australian fundamental equities.

Colquhoun was previously an investment manager at Antares Capital. His past roles have included investment analyst at Argo Investments.

His hire follows the departure of Gian Pandit and Jonas Palmqvist from AMP Capital’s Australian fundamental equities team earlier in the year, although a spokeswoman said Colquhoun was not a strict like-for-like replacement.  

In addition, AMP Capital’s multi-strategy quant team left the asset manager for IFM Investors this month. The team comprised nine investment staff under Lachlan Davis, namely Reuben De Barros, Nick Koh, Atchu Maheswaran, Mark McClatchy, Kian Ong, Rob Pinnuck, Matt Salmon and Tony Vong. 

AMP Capital said it was working closely with clients to facilitate an orderly transition to appropriate management arrangements. It said quant remained a core part of its overall fundamental equities investment philosophy, but that at this stage there were no plans to rebuild a stand-alone team.

“Central to AMP Capital’s 2020 strategy is the investment teams’ shared view of vision and culture,” the company said in a statement. “A number of individuals from the multi-strategy equities team have decided to take a different path and have resigned.”

Old Mutual International names new NE Asia head
Old Mutual International, another division of Old Mutual Wealth, has appointed Mike Leeson, current head of Northeast Asia, to a newly created role as head of distribution development. 

He will relocate to the UK from Hong Kong, and Mark Christal, Hong Kong general manager, will be promoted to head of Northeast Asia and chief executive for Hong Kong. Christal has been in Hong Kong for 11 years and works closely with advisers in the region.  

In his new post, Leeson will focus on working with the international adviser market. He will also have responsibility for managing relationships with global key accounts.

There is increasing demand from financial advisers in several markets for support to help them transition their business and adapt to changing regulation and customer needs, said Old Mutual International in a statement. 

Leeson had been a senior member of the distribution team in Hong Kong for the past eight years, including as head of sales for the last five. Prior to moving to Hong Kong, Mike was with Old Mutual Wealth in the UK for nine years.

Omgi brings EM debt fund in house 
UK-based Old Mutual Global Investors (Omgi) has said that John Peta, head of emerging market debt, will take over as manager of the $168 million Old Mutual Emerging Market Debt Fund on January 21, 2016, subject to regulatory approval.

The fund is currently sub-advised by Stone Harbor Investment Partners.

Omgi, part of Old Mutual Wealth, believes investors in the fund will benefit from Peta’s EM debt experience, but declined to comment on whether costs or performance considerations had also influenced the decision. 

Peta had joined Omgi in March 2015 and has managed the $115 million firm’s Local Currency Emerging Market Debt Fund since April 2015.  

Omgi has also proposed that both the Old Mutual EM Debt Fund and the Old Mutual LC EM Debt Fund be permitted to use derivatives. This change will also take effect on January 21, subject to regulatory and shareholder approval. 

The fund house believes this move will benefit investors as there will be additional scope to hedge out or exploit certain areas of the market.

Before joining Omgi, Peta had left Threadneedle (now Columbia Threadneedle) in early 2014 and was replaced by Henry Stipp as head of EM debt. Peta started his career in fixed income in 1987 and has spent 18 years specialising in EM debt investing.

MarketAxess opens in HK, adds Asian local-currency bonds
Electronic fixed-income trading platform provider MarketAxess has opened an office in Hong Kong and added the ability to trade local-currency Asian bonds. 

This is the firm’s second branch in the region, alongside the existing office in Singapore. Its aim is to provide better support for Hong Kong and North Asia clients.

Philipp Sterner will head the new office, having moved to Hong Kong from London earlier this year to oversee its set-up. He joined MarketAxess in 2012 to focus on cross-border sales, including emerging markets. 

Duncan Klein, Singapore-based head of Asia sales, declined to give details of the current or planned headcount for the new branch, apart from to say: “We are currently expanding our sales and technical support functions in both our Singapore and Hong Kong offices.”

MarketAxess has also added the ability for platform participants to trade bonds denominated in Indonesian rupiah, Thai baht and Singapore dollar from 10 market-making dealers to complement the 29 dealers already providing liquidity in hard-currency Asia bonds. 

These three represent some of the more active Asia local-currency markets, said Klein.

MarketAxess offers secondary trading in Chinese dollar bonds but not in renminbi and offshore renminbi (CNH) instruments, though it is monitoring developments on this front, he said. 

“We are expanding our global local currency offering to include Asian currencies, while keeping an eye on domestic Chinese markets,” he noted, declining to suggest a time frame for when that might happen. 

Barings hires new global marketing head
UK-based Baring Asset Management has appointed Mike Evans as head of marketing and communications to replace Claire Fraser. 

Based in London, Evans reports to David Brennan, chairman and chief executive.

Evans joins Barings from Legg Mason Global Asset Management, where he was head of international intermediary marketing and led the firm’s marketing activities across Europe, Asia and Latin America. Prior to this he held marketing positions at BNY Mellon and Schroders.

CIMB Islamic Bank gets new CEO
Mohamed Rafe bin Mohamed Haneef has been named CEO of Malaysia’s CIMB Islamic Bank and CEO of the group Islamic banking division, effective January 4. He was previously head of HSBC Amanah Malaysia.

The hire follows the departure of previous incumbent Badlisyah Abdul Ghani in August, after he reportedly posted controversial remarks involving scandal-hit Malaysian state investment fund 1MDB on Facebook. Abdul Ghani had been CEO at CIMB Islamic Bank since 2006.

Paul Andrews of Finra named Iosco secretary general
The International Organization of Securities Commissions (Iosco) has appointed Paul Andrews as its new secretary general for a three-year term from March next year. He is currently managing director of international at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra). 

Andrews succeeds David Wright, who had joined Iosco in March 2012 after 34 years of financial and regulatory policy work at the European Commission. 

At Finra, Andrews has sought to establish strong working relationships with regulatory bodies outside the US to improve international cooperation and coordination. 

He represents Finra at Iosco, where he sits on the regulatory advisory Committee of Iosco’s affiliate members consultative committee (AMCC) and chairs the AMCC task force on risk. Andrews also serves as the chair of the International Forum for Investor Education.

Prior to joining Finra, he spent eight years at the US Securities and Exchange Commission. 

Credit China appoints non-executive director 
Peer-to-peer lending firm Credit China Holdings has appointed Zhou Youmeng as a non-executive director with the aim of helping it expand further in the internet financing business. 

She has been a director, vice-chairman and president of telecoms company Shenzhen Aisidi since January 2014. She was a general manager of the Guangdong network branch of China United Network Communications Group from July 2011 to May 2012 and was a general manager of China United Network Communications Group in the Marketing Department from May 2012 to December 2013. 

Asifma seeks manager for CEO office
The Asia Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association is seeking a manager for the office of the CEO, Mark Austen. The new appointee will provide coordination, research and analytical support related for the office of the CEO. 

He or she will play a central role in coordinating daily work and projects across the association, and will support the CEO directly in his external role, including providing briefing and speaking notes. 

The application deadline is January 22.

Other people news reported in the past week on AsianInvestor.net:

StanChart creates new role to align PB, WM

Online advisers bullish despite Etrade Asia exit

UBP to launch post-acquisition recruitment drive

E-Fund targets rollout of Ucits suite in Europe