IFM Investors opens in Hong Kong
IFM Investors, an Australian asset manager with a strong focus on infrastructure, obtained a type 9 licence in Hong Kong in October and has opened an office in the city.

The Hong Kong office is headed by Nick Koh as director and responsible officer. He joined in March iin the city as an investment director for the Asia-Pacific market-neutral strategy and retains that role. 

Koh is the sole executive in the office, and IFM does not have any current plans to add headcount. 

  Nick Koh

The Melbourne-based firm is discussing opportunities with Hong Kong-based institutional investors, chief executive Brett Himbury told AsianInvestor.

With A$74 billion ($55 billion) under management, IFM invests in four asset classes, infrastructure (A$33 billion), debt (A$22 billion), listed equities (A$17 billion) and private equity (A$2 billion).

The firm also has offices in Sydney, New York, London, Berlin and Tokyo.

NNIP replaces Asia CEO
Dutch fund house NN Investment Partners has appointed Gopi Mirchandani as chief executive and head of the Asia ex-Japan client group, based in Singapore. Her appointment will be effective January 1, 2017, pending regulatory approval.

Mirchandani will report to Stan Beckers, Hague-based global CEO of NNIP and replaces Shek Chee Seng, who has led the business in Asia since 2013 and will pursue other career opportunities. 

Gopi Mirchandani

Mirchandani will join from Singapore's Fullerton Fund Management, where she is head of sales strategy. Her last day there will be December 30. Trevor Chudleigh, head of business development, will now oversee Fullerton's sales strategy.

Before joining Fullerton, Mirchandani worked at Deutsche Asset Management and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Manraj Sekhon, Fullerton's former chief executive and chief investment officer, has also left the firm, it emerged last month. Patrick Yeo, head of fixed income, has since taken on the additional role of CIO. The firm has not yet announced a replacement CEO. 

Deutsche WM appoints new North Asia head
Deutsche Bank Wealth Management has promoted Kanas Chan to head of North Asia, effective December 5. She replaces Lok Yim who became the bank’s head of Asia Pacific on October 11, following Ravi Raju's move to UBS Wealth Management.

Chan (pictured right) was previously Asia-Pacific head of capital markets, and her replacement will be announced in due course. She reports to Yim, who is also based in Hong Kong.

Chan has two decades of industry experience and joined Deutsche Bank WM in 2007 as head of fixed income. She has also worked at Citi and DBS.

Nomura WM shuffles team as Asia deputy head exits
Amanda Chen left her role as deputy head of Asia ex-Japan for Nomura Wealth Management on November 25, having joined in January 2015 from Morgan Stanley. 

Her duties are understood to have been split between Johnny Heng, who has been named head of relationship management for Asia ex-Japan, and Shinichi Tamai, chief financial offer of wealth management for Asia ex-Japan, who has assumed additional responsibility as chief of staff for the division.

Heng (pictured left) was previously chief investment officer for Asia ex-Japan at Nomura WM.

Both Heng and Tamai are based in Singapore and report to Hong Kong-based Nobuhiro Sano, head of Asia ex-Japan.

Heng’s CIO role has been split and assigned to Hong Kong-based Vincent Ng and Singapore-based Tong Yew Sng. The two will act as co-CIOs and were previously on the investment advisory team. They also report to Sano.

EFG hires new Asia co-head of private banking
Swiss firm EFG Bank has hired Lee Chang Tze as deputy chief executive and co-head of private banking for Asia, effective December 1.

Based in Singapore, Lee reports to Asia chief executive Albert Chiu. He replaces Teo Geo Hong, the former Asia head of private banking who left EFG in March.

Lee was formerly ABN Amro’s former Southeast Asia head of private banking. Anuj Khanna replaced him in September, before which he was head of Southeast Asia at Swiss private bank Pictet.

StanChart PB Taiwan head exits
Vicky Lin, formerly Taiwan market head at Standard Chartered Private Bank in Hong Kong, left the firm on November 30.

She is replaced by Alex Tse, a senior team leader for Hong Kong, who joined in August this year. Tse also becomes market head for the Philippines, taking over from Wellington Ong. 

Based in Hong Kong, Ong takes on a new role as cluster head for the Philippines and will focus more on developing client relationships, a spokesperson said.

Both Tse and Ong report to Desmond Liu, Hong Kong-based head of private banking for Greater China and North Asia.

Lin had joined Standard Chartered in September 2015. She was previously executive director for private wealth management for Taiwan and Greater China at Morgan Stanley.

Templeton restructures Australia distribution team
Franklin Templeton Investments has restructured its distribution team in Australia, with three executives being handed additional responsibilities, effective November 28.  

The US asset manager did not respond to comment on who had looked after those areas before the change or whether anyone had left the firm as part of the restructure. Their new business titles are being finalised.

Charles Levinge, the firm’s senior institutional sales manager in Melbourne, now leads the institutional segment. He will retain the same client segment coverage, but with additional leadership responsibilties, said a spokesperson, without providing further clarification.

Louise Thompson, the firm’s northern region manager in Sydney, now covers financial institutions, particularly major banks and fund managers, across both the northern and southern regions. 

Stuart Devlin, the firm’s southern region manager in Melbourne, will expand his role to cover on independent financial advisers and family offices across both northern and southern regions. 

The trio reports to Jim McKay, Melbourne-based head of distribution, who was promoted in August from Australia head of advisory services. 

BlackRock is another large US asset manager to have recently merged its institutional and retail sales teams in Australia. 

Lombard International sets up in Singapore
Lombard International, the Luxembourg- and Philadelphia-headquartered life and annuities products provider for high-net-worth clients, obtained a licence for operation in Singapore on November 17.

Tammy Lu Tsui will serve as chief executive of the Singapore office, alongside sales consultants Cherie Tan, Frances Boon and Amanda Tan. The firm is hiring and aims to have 10 sales consultants in place by the end of 2017.

Lombard International obtained approval for its Hong Kong subsidiary in June this year.

StanChart Asean CEO quits over personal investments
Standard Chartered’s chief executive for Asean and South Asia, Ajay Kanwal, resigned on November 28 as a result of personal investments he had made while with the bank.

Anna Marrs, Singapore-based CEO for commercial and private banking globally, will assume Kanwal's post in addition to her current role, pending regulatory approval.

Kanwal said in a statement: “The bank rightly sets very high internal standards on disclosures for all staff. After careful deliberation I felt that some of my internal disclosures about my historical personal investments in businesses outside the bank did not meet these very high standards. Though I do not own these investments anymore, as a senior leader my actions should be beyond reproach. Hence with regret I have decided to tender my resignation.”

Kanwal joined Standard Chartered in 2012 and has also worked at Citibank.

GFMA names news leadership team
The Global Financial Markets Association (GFMA) has elected a new leadership team, which will serve for a two-year term.

Mark Austen, Hong Kong-based chief executive of the Asia Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association, takes over as CEO of GFMA from Kenneth Bentsen Jr, president and CEO of the US-based Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association.      

Sandra O’Connor, New York-based chief regulatory affairs officer at JP Morgan Chase, takes over as chair of GFMA from Samir Assaf, chief executive of global banking and markets at HSBC.

Sylvie Matherat, Frankfurt-based chief regulatory officer at Deutsche Bank, becomes vice chair, a newly created position.

Other people news reported on AsianInvestor in the past week: