Weekly roundup of people news, Feb 15

Statewide Super names new CEO; MSIM sets up Singapore-based team; Mercer appoints investing consulting head for Australia; QBE appoints Asia chief; Lombard Odier to open Abu Dhabi office, and more.
Weekly roundup of people news, Feb 15


Statewide Super has named Tony D’Alessandro as its chief executive officer, effective March 1. He will replace Richard Nunn, who officially becomes Metlife’s CEO for Australia in May.

D’Alessandro, based in Adelaide, is currently the general manager for member engagement at Statewide Super. 

A replacement for D'Alessandro's former role is expected to be announced before he becomes CEO, a spokeswoman for the fund told AsianInvestor.


Morgan Stanley Investment Management has established an Asian presence for its global balanced risk control (GBRC) team in an attempt to boost its multi-asset capabilities in the region.

Andrew Harmstone

The Singapore-based team is headed by Andrew Harmstone, a senior portfolio manager in the global multi-asset team and head of the GBRC strategy. Including Harmstone, the team comprises two staff members. More people are expected to be hired, a company spokeswoman said, without providing further details.

Harmstone was previously based in London with the same title but relocated to Singapore to take up his expanded responsibilities on January 1. He now leads the Singapore and London GBRC teams.

Harmstone continues to report to Cyril Moulle-Berteaux, New York-based head of multi-asset, the spokeswoman added.

The team obtained regulatory approval on December 28, the spokeswoman said. It will manage globally diversified, risk-controlled portfolios by using a top-down global asset allocation approach.


Mercer, a global consultancy, has appointed Michael Armitage as head of investment consulting for Australia.

This is a newly created role in Mercer’s institutional wealth team, a spokeswoman told AsianInvestor. Based in Melbourne, he reports to Simon Eagleton, Mercer’s institutional wealth leader for the Pacific.

Armitage was previously a director of investment services with actuarial and consulting firm Milliman in Sydney.

Following an internal restructuring, Milliman has appointed Jeff Gebler and Victor Huang as co-heads of Milliman’s overlay solutions group in Australia. Both have been responsible for leading capital markets and investment activity within the company for a number of years, a spokesman told AsianInvestor.


QBE has named Jason Hammond as chief executive of Asia, effective January 15.

Based in Singapore, Hammond oversees the Australian business insurer’s operations in Asia. Chief executive officers in North Asia, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam will report to Hammond.

Hammond reports to Richard Pryce, chief executive of the international division, who is based in London.

Jason Hammond, CEO, QBE
Jason Hammond

Hammond’s role is newly created and comes as a result of the streamlining of QBE’s business operations into three divisions – international, Australia Pacific and North America.

The Asia division sits under the international division, the spokeswoman said.

Before his appointment, Hammond was based in Hong Kong and served as interim CEO of QBE North Asia. Lei Yu, previously chief executive of insurance broking firm Marsh, succeeded him in that role in December 2018, the spokeswoman told AsianInvestor.

Based in Hong Kong, Yu also serves as regional head of distribution for Asia Pacific.


Lombard Odier has appointed Christophe Lalandre to head a new branch that will be set up in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

The Swiss wealth and asset manager already has a representative office in Dubai, headed by Lalandre, and the new office builds on a 12-year presence in the UAE. He will head both offices.

The Abu Dhabi branch has secured approval-in-principle from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), the local regulator of the Abu Dhabi Global Market. The granting of a Financial Services Permission from the FSRA is subject to final regulatory approval, a media statement said.

Lombard Odier did not respond to AsianInvestor queries on whether more staff will be hired for the Abu Dhabi office.


Campbell Lutyens, a UK-based private capital advisory and placement firm, has named infrastructure specialist Peter Siapikoudis as an advisory director with a focus on Australia and New Zealand. Based in Melbourne, he started in the role on February 7.

Peter Siapikoudis

Asked if Siapikoudis would replace anyone, a spokeswoman for Campbell Lutyens said the firm’s advisory directors are not full-time positions and contribute to strategic planning and business development activities.

Siapikoudis was previously head of infrastructure at Frontier Advisors, an Australian asset consultancy, where he led the real asset research function. He left the company in January last year and has since been replaced by Isabelle Demir, who joined in August.

Siapikoudis has also worked for Hastings Funds Management and retirement fund UniSuper.

Campbell Lutyens raises capital globally for private equity, infrastructure and private debt managers, and advises investors on the sale or restructuring of funds or direct investments in private equity and infrastructure.


Janus Henderson Investors last week announced the retirement of Bill Gross, co-founder and former chief investment officer of rival fund manager Pimco, who was once known as the ‘bond king’. He will leave the fund house on March 1, 2019.

Gross had joined Janus Henderson in late 2014 (then Janus Capital) to manage its global unconstrained bond fund and related strategies. 

Nick Maroutsos

Portfolio management responsibilities for the funds will be assumed by the global macro fixed income team. Nick Maroutsos, co-head of global bonds, becomes portfolio manager of the funds as of February 15 to assist with the transition.

Returns on the unconstrained fund have been disappointing under Gross. The strategy underperformed its three-month Libor benchmark since he started in late 2014, providing a cumulative return in that time of –1.2% in dollar terms. It reportedly fell below $1 billion in size from a peak of $2.24 billion last year, but Janus Henderson did not confirm this.

Gross will now focus on managing his personal assets and private charitable foundation, said Janus in a statement.


Intertrust, a corporate and fund solutions provider, has appointed Jon Barratt as managing director of its Singapore office, effective January 8.

Barratt reports to Daniel Jaffe, managing director of Intertrust market offices. Jaffe is based in the UK and is a member of the group executive committee.

Jon Barratt, MD, Intertrust
Jon Barratt

Barratt replaced Mike Reitsma, who left to pursue other career opportunities, although an Intertrust spokesman did not respond to an AsianInvestor query on when he left the company.

Barratt was previously based in Jersey as head of real estate. Intertrust has appointed Jane Stammers to succeed him, a spokeswoman told AsianInvestor. Stammers, who is also based in Jersey, joined the firm in September 2014.


Desmond Kuek has been appointed as divisional vice chairman for global wealth management at UBS.

Based in Singapore, he will be joining UBS on February 18, a spokeswoman for the wealth manager told AsianInvestor. Kuek was previously president and group chief executive officer at Singapore Mass Rapid Transit Corporation.

His role is newly created, the spokeswoman told AsianInvestor, without providing further details.


Natixis Investment Managers has hired Harald Walkate Aegon Asset Management to be its Paris-based head of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and environmental, social and governance (ESG), effective March 1.

In this newly created role at Natixis, Walkate is responsible for driving Natixis Investment Managers’ CSR globally and its ESG commitments across its distribution network, its affiliate managers and as part of industry-wide initiatives.

He reports to Beverly Bearden, deputy CEO of Natixis Investment Managers, and Christophe Lanne, chief transformation and talent officer at the asset and wealth management division.

Previously, Walkate was based in the Netherlands with Aegon, where he was a senior vice-president and global head of responsible investment.

Aegon AM did not immediately respond to AsianInvestor's queries on when Walkate left the firm or whether a replacement had been announced.

Other people news reported by AsianInvestor last week:

Eastspring’s C-suite shakeup fuels sell-off talk


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