NPS INVESTMENT STRATEGY HEAD RESIGNS

Lee Soo Cheol, the investment strategy head at Korea's National Pension Service (NPS)  has resigned, according to media reports.

Lee Soo Cheol

He had joined NPS, the third-largest pension fund in the world, in 2006. He was also named acting chief investment officer for three months from July, before Ahn Hyo Joon took on the role in early October.

Lee's resignation comes after two other executives left the $580 billion pension fund left earlier this year, according to a Korean Investors report on November 29. 

NPS did not respond to AsianInvestor’s request for comment.

H2O AM SETS UP FIRST ASIA OFFICE

H2O Asset Management, an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers that specialises in macro multi-strategy, has set up an office in Singapore and appointed Philip Chow as chief executive for the region. 

Philip Chow

Chow reports to chief investment officer Vincent Chailley in London, and was previously Asia fixed income chief investment officer at Amundi in Singapore. He left the French fund house amid regional cuts following its merger with Pioneer Investments last year. 

H20 has also made two other regional hires: Lhoucine Aderdor as senior portfolio manager and Alexis Lavergne as client portfolio manager.

Aderdor was previously senior portfolio manager at Amundi Singapore, while Lavergne joins from BlackRock. 

H2O AM declined to comment on when the Singapore office opened and future hiring plans. Amundi and Blackrock declined to comment on the staff departures.

MUZINICH HIRES ALEXIS NG AS ASIA HEAD

US-based credit manager Muzinich has appointed Alexis Ng as country manager for Singapore and managing director for Asia Pacific, effective from January 2019.

Ng replaces Eric Pictet, who had relocated from Paris to set up the Singapore office in June 2017 and oversee the region. A spokeswoman for Muzinich said Pictet has left the firm and relocated back to Europe.

Ng’s key focus will be to market the company’s public and private credit offerings to clients in the institutional, wholesale and wealth management arenas, the company said in a statement.

She joins from Aberdeen Standard Investments, where she was head of distribution for Asia Pacific. She left the firm in April and has since been replaced by Andrew Hendry, also based in Singapore.

Prior to Aberdeen, Ng was with First State Investments as country head for Singapore and Asia head of distribution.

*This story has been updated with new details.

CITI PRIVATE BANK HIRES FOR INDIA BUSINESS

Citi Private Bank has appointed Varun Chugh as market manager for the global India business and Puneet Sanwalka as head of India onshore business. 

Chugh, based in Singapore, reports to Jyrki Rauhio, South Asia head for Citi Private Bank, and will be responsible for leading the private bank's offshore and onshore India businesses.

He joins from DBS Bank, where he was head of the global South Asia team, also based in Singapore. A spokewoman for DBS said Chugh left in December and a search for his replacement is under way.

Sanwalka, based in Mumbai, reports to both Chugh and Pramit Jhaveri, chief executive of Citi India.

Previously a director of investment finance with Citi Private Bank, Sanwalka has been tasked with enhancing the firm’s product platform and growing its domestic client base in India. Citi is recruiting a replacement to fill Sanwalka's previous post, she added.

Chugh replaces Debashish Dutta Gupta and Sanwalka succeeds Sameer Kaul, who have both left the bank, a spokeswoman told AsianInvestor.

SGG APPOINTS ASIA LEADERSHIP AFTER AUGENTIUS ACQUISITION

Investor services firm SGG Group's headcount has grown to around 350 staff in Asia, of which 150 sit across Singapore and Hong Kong, following its acquisition of Augentius, a London-based private equity and real estate fund administrator.

Jimmy Leong

Jimmy Leong, the former Asia head at Augentius, is now managing director of the regional funds business at Luxembourg-based SGG. Udit Gambhir, SGG’s former head of Asia, becomes managing director of regional funds sales.

Both will remain in the regional head office in Singapore and will report to Shanker Iyer, executive chairman for the group’s Asia business. He was previously chairman of Iyer Practice, a firm that he founded and SGG recently acquired.

SGG’s assets under administration have surpassed $400 billion as a result of the deal, which completed on December 6. The combined business operates across 24 locations with 2,450 staff.

TOKIO MARINE LIFE SINGAPORE CEO EXITS

Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore has announced the resignation of its CEO, James Tan, effective December 1, according to a media statement.

An announcement about Tan's successor will be made in due course, the statement said. In the meantime, chief financial officer Kenneth Chew will act as interim CEO and oversee the company’s day-to-day activities.

Tan had been CEO of the Singapore unit since June 2016 and was previously managing director at Friends Provident International in Hong Kong. 

CALPERS’ FORMER CIO JOINS MORGAN STANLEY IM

Morgan Stanley Investment Management (MSIM) has appointed Ted Eliopoulos, until recently chief investment officer of California Public Employees' Retirement System (Calpers), as vice chairman and head of strategic partnerships.

This is a newly created role, said a spokeswoman for New York-based MSIM, but she did not immediately elaborate on how these responsibilities had been looked after previously.

Based in New York, Eliopoulos will start in the new role in January and report to Dan Simkowitz, head of MSIM. Eliopoulos will also sit on the investment management operating committee and co-chair the US-based asset manager’s sustainable investing council.

Ben Meng, formerly deputy CIO at China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange, is replacing Eliopoulous at Calpers.

J. SAFRA SARASIN APPOINTS MD FOR CLIENT ADVISORY

J. Safra Sarasin has appointed Peter So as Hong Kong-based managing director for client advisory.

Peter So

So joined the company on December 3. He reports to Karen Leung, Hong Kong-based vice chair and head of client advisory for North Asia.

It is a new role as the company expands in Asia, a company spokeswoman said. She did not elaborate on who had looked after the job function before So joined.

So joined from UBS, where he had been managing director and country team head for Hong Kong, a position he left in August. Jamee Wong has succeeded him in that role, AsianInvestor understands.

AMP NAMES GROUP EXECUTIVE FOR ADVICE

Australian investment and insurance group AMP has appointed Alex Wade as group executive for advice for its group leadership team.

The appointment will be effective from January 7. Wade will report to new AMP chief executive Francesco de Ferrari and will lead the continuing transformation of AMP’s advice business.

He will succeed Jack Regan, who will retire from AMP after nearly 20 years with the company. All three of them are based in Sydney.

Wade was most recently head of developed and emerging Asia at Credit Suisse Private Banking, which did not respond to AsianInvestor’s query about his departure.