Weekly roundup of people news, Dec 4

Future Fund confirms Sue Brake as permanent CIO; Barings to open Singapore office in 2021; Breven Howard poaches fund manager from BFAM; former Cbus CEO joins AMP Capital as deputy head; Aberdeen Standard adds deputy head of Japan; Savills names China head of property; billionaire Ray Dalio to open Singapore family office and more.
Weekly roundup of people news, Dec 4


Australia's sovereign wealth fund has officially appointed Sue Brake as its chief investment officer. 

Brake has been serving as acting CIO since her predecessor Raphael Arndt became the company's chief executive in July. She will continue to be based in Melbourne and is responsible for the sovereign wealth fund's investment strategy and five other public asset funds, which are valued at $210 billion in total, the company said in a statement on Wednesday (December 2).

Her role is effective immediately and she will report to Arndt, a Future Fund spokeswoman told AsianInvestor.

Brake joined Future Fund as deputy chief investment officer of portfolio strategy in June 2019 from Willis Towers Watson where she was head of strategic advisory. Previously, she worked at the New Zealand Superannuation Fund as a senior investment strategist. 

Future Fund has recently made several hires to the investment team, which is comprised of 70 people in total. Genevieve Murray joined as head of listed equities in November after a stint as head of Australian equities from AMP Capital, Doug Cain was hired to become head of unlisted property from pension fund manager PSP Investments in Canada, and Kelvin Mak, previously from Navis Capital Partners, joined as director in the privae equity team.


Lim Soo-Hai

Barings, the asset management unit of US insurer MassMutual, has joined the growing list of firms adding an office in Singapore to their Asia headquarters in Hong Kong. 

It plans to officially open the branch next year, a spokeswoman told AsianInvestor. In addition to Hong Kong, the office will add to presences in Australia, mainland China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan.

Barings is making the move to expand its operations in Asia Pacific on the back of strong regional growth, the firm said in a press release. A spokeswoman from the firm told AsianInvestor that  Asia Pacific represents about 35% of Barings’ external assets under management.

Lim Soo-Hai, head of Asia ex-China equities, will relocate to Singapore to head operations there. 

In the new branch there will initially be four investment professionals from the Asia equities team covering research and portfolio management and three business support executives, with plans to expand in the coming years, the spokeswoman said while declined to provide other details on the initial team.

Barings' decision reflects a sharp rise this year in the trend for asset managersasset ownersfamily offices and other firms to set up offices in Singapore alongside branches in Hong Kong. Such moves have come amid widespread protests in Hong Kong against growing political encroachment from Beijing and in some cases are seen as contingency plans.

Lim joined Barings in November 2005 from Daiwa SB Investments in Singapore, where he was country specialist for Australia and Malaysia. Lim previously managed Thai and Malaysian equities in Singapore Telecom’s asset management department, the spokeswoman said.


James Chilton has left Hong Kong-based hedge fund manager BFAM Partners to join the Hong Kong branch of British rival Brevan Howard. His licence started on November 25 at the latter firm and ran from January 6, 2017 to August 8 this year at the former.

Chilton focused on fixed income relative value strategies at both BFAM and former firm Symmetry Investments, according to his LinkedIn page

BFAM declined to comment, and Brevan Howard declined to provide more information on Chilton's area of coverage.


David Atkin
David Atkin, AMP Capital

AMP Capital has appointed David Atkin as deputy chief executive, effective December 7, putting him in charge of operational leadership while the Australian asset manager continues its search for a CEO.

He was previously CEO of pension fund Cbus Super for 12 years and was replaced by new hire Justin Arter in July.

Atkin will remain in Melbourne but commute to AMP Capital's Sydney office, a spokesman told AsianInvestor. He will report to the CEO of parent company AMP Limited, Francesco De Gerrari, who is currently also interim CEO of AMP Capital.

AMP Capital’s previous CEO was Boe Pahari, who stepped down in August amid allegations of sexual harassment.


Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) has hired Sadayuki Takahashi from rival Schroders as deputy head of Japan, a newly created role effective December 1. 

Sadayuki Takahashi, ASI

Tokyo-based Takahashi reports to Japan chief executive Ken Yajima and will work with Yajima on the development and execution of ASI's Japan business strategy. Takahashi also joins the firm's Japan board. 

The role has been created as ASI aims to further strengthen its management structure in Japan as well as client support functions including client services, operations and business administration, according to a press release.

At Schroders, Takahashi was chief operating officer of distribution and head of product development for Japan. He left the firm at the end of November, a spokesman said.

Schroders will not replace him and has spread his responsibilities among different teams, he added.


Marco Meng, Savills

British property services firm Savills announced promotions within the China property and asset management team on November 20.

Marco Meng will be promoted to head of China property management and asset management at Savills, while Paul Cheung and Judy Zhang will be promoted to head of property management and asset management for southern China and Beijing, respectively.

A Savills spokeswoman did not say which roles whom the three new appointees had replaced or who – if anyone – had taken up their former posts.

Shanghai-based Meng joined Savills in 2005. In his most recent role he was head of eastern China property management and asset management.

Cheung was previously deputy managing director for southern China at Savills for some 15 years, the spokeswoman said.

Zhang has worked in Savills' Beijing office for 20 years, but the spokeswoman did not say what her previous title was.

This story has been updated to reflect that Savills did not provide information on whether they new appointees had replaced anyone or had been replaced in their former roles.


Ray Dalio, Bridgewater

Ray Dalio, the founder of hedge fund giant Bridgewater Associates, is to become the latest tycoon to establish a family office in Singapore.

The Singapore office will run the billionaire’s investments and philanthropy in the region, Dalio Philanthropies told AsianInvestor in a statement, adding that opening an office in Singapore allows the family office team to be more immersed in the region's activities.

The organisation did not reply to queries about when the family office would open and its staffing plans. 

Bridgewater is a big investor in Asia and was one of the earliest international asset manages to set up a wholly foreign-owned enterprise and obtain a private fund management licence in Shanghai.


Raymond Tam, Manulife

Manulife Investment Management has appointed Raymond Tam as Hong Kong chief distribution officer for retail wealth. He started in November.

AsianInvestor could not ascertain who had held the role previously, and Manulife IM did not reply to emailed questions on the new appointment.

Tam previously worked for Hong Kong-based Noah International, part of Chinese wealth manager Noah Holdings, as chief business development officer from January this year. 

A spokesman from Noah told AsianInvestor that Tam had left in September and the firm had not found his replacement yet.
This article has been edited to include a statement from Noah International.


Pontus Flemme Gardsell
Pontus Flemme Gardsell

Australian real estate investment manager Cromwell Property Group has promoted Pontus Flemme Gardsell to be head of Nordics.

Gardsell has been serving as interim head since the start of this year and was previously head of finance for the Nordic region and head of finance for Sweden at the company. He joined Cromwell in 2011 after a five-year stint at consultancy Deloitte.

Cromwell has offices in Copenhagen, Helsinki, Malmo and Stockholm and manages 46 office, retail, industrial and logistics assets covering 329,000 square metres. It did not reply to emailed questions from AsianInvestor about who Gardsell will report to, who he has replaced, or where he will be based. 

Other people news reported in the past week by AsianInvestor:

APG expands teams for Asia real assets and China bonds

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