EX-FULLERTON CIO TAKES EM ROLE AT FRANKLIN TEMPLETON

Franklin Templeton Investments has hired Manraj S. Sekhon as chief investment officer of emerging markets equity.

Sekhon will take up the Singapore-based role on February 19 and oversee more than 80 experienced emerging markets equity investment professionals based in 20 offices around the world.

He will report to Stephen Dover, head of equities, who is based at the company’s headquarters in California.

The appointment came after Mark Mobius, executive chairman of the Templeton Emerging Markets Group (TEMG) and one of the pioneers of emerging market investing, retired at the end of January.

But a spokeswoman said Sekhon was not a successor to Mobius. This is a new position created to support Dover, who had served as CIO of TEMG before his role was expanded into a head of equities position in May 2017, she said.

Sekhon was previously the chief executive and CIO of Fullerton Fund Management, a position he left in November 2016. AsianInvestor could not ascertain what Sekhon was doing last year.

ROBECO HIRES REGIONAL WHOLESALE HEAD

Dutch asset management firm Robeco has appointed Tom Keenan as head of wholesale for Asia ex-Japan.

Effective February 20, Singapore-based Keenan will oversee the Asia ex-Japan wholesale business, with a focus on expanding relationships with intermediaries like banks, wealth managers, insurance companies, and independent financial advisors.

The role is newly created, a Robeco spokeswoman said, and Keenan will report to Asia-Pacific head of distribution Graham Elliot. Elliot oversees the management of the wholesale distribution business in Apac, the spokeswoman said, and the role was created to focus on expanding the business in Asia ex-Japan.

His appointment is subject to regulatory approval, though Robeco declined to provide further details of the approval process.

Most recently, Keenan was head of private bank and wealth distribution for Asia ex-Japan at Blackrock. The US investment manager declined to comment on his departure or his replacement.

CITI PRIVATE BANK’S APAC MANAGED INVESTMENTS HEAD TAKES ON NEW ROLE

Citi Private Bank has appointed Adam Proctor as global market manager (GMM) for Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, effective immediately.

In this new role, he will report to Jyrki Rauhio, Citi Private Bank’s South Asia head, and will continue to be based in Singapore.

Proctor was previously head of managed investments and advisory for Asia Pacific, reporting to Roger Bacon, head of investments for Asia Pacific, and David Bailin, global head of managed investments. A Citi spokeswoman said Proctor would continue with these duties until a replacement is announced.

Citi said it was appointing global market managers in key markets as part of its recent restructuring.

In December 2017, Citi announced a new organisational structure with the appointments of Jyrki Rauhio as South Asia head and Rudolf Hitsch as North Asia head.

In October 2017, Citi appointed Steven Lo as regional head of the private bank in Asia Pacific, following the announcement of Bassam Salem’s retirement.

T. ROWE PRICE BUILDS MULTI-ASSET TEAM WITH STRATEGIST HIRE

US asset management firm T. Rowe Price has hired Wenting Shen as solutions strategist in Asia Pacific for the multi-asset division.

Effective January 29, Hong Kong-based Shen works with the multi-asset team to create customised multi-asset solutions for clients in the region, and she reports to Asia-Pacific head of multi-asset solutions Thomas Poullaouec.

The role is newly created, a T. Rowe Price spokesman said, and Shen is Poullaouec’s first hire since he joined the asset manager in September 2017.

Prior to her hire, the duties of her role were covered by other members of the global multi-asset team, the spokesman confirmed.

The creation of the role is part of T. Rowe Price’s expansion of its multi-asset team globally, underscored by Poullaouec’s appointment as Asia head last September, as well as Lowell Yura and Yoram Lustig’s appointments as North America head and Europe, Middle East and Africa head, respectively, last June.

Most recently Shen was vice-president of multi-asset solutions at US asset manager Blackrock Asset Management. Blackrock declined to comment on her departure and her replacement.

QIC APPOINTS DIRECTOR OF INVESTMENTS FOR MULTI-ASSET TEAM

Asset manager Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) has appointed Allison Hill as director of investments in its global multi-asset division (GMA).

Based in Brisbane, Hill is responsible for managing end-to-end relationships with the GMA’s largest investor funds, devising investment strategies and objectives, and managing investment needs across asset classes.

She started at QIC, which is owned by the Queensland state government, on January 29, a spokesman confirmed. She reports to managing director of GMA Jim Christensen.

The role is newly created, the spokesman said, and her duties were previously covered by the GMA team. Hill was hired as a result of the number and degree of responsibilities within the team increasing in line with business growth, the spokesman said.

Hill was most recently chief executive of Australian asset manager DMP Asset Management. Her last day at DMP was January 5, a DMP spokeswoman said, and her duties will be covered by executive chairman Harry Cator. The Australian asset manager will not be replacing Hill, the spokeswoman confirmed.

BANK J SAFRA SARASIN APPOINTS SINGAPORE CEO

Vinay Gandhi has been appointed CEO of J. Safra Sarasin’s Singapore Branch effective January 26. He also retains his role as managing director and chief executive officer for ultra-high-net-worth clients in Asia.

He replaces Benedikt Maissen, who left the bank in early January, according to a bank spokeswoman.

Gandhi, who joined the bank in March 2017, will continue to report to Enid Yip, chief executive officer for Asia.

In a media statement, the private bank also said it had hired 25 relationship managers in the city-state in 2017.

VONTOBEL APPOINTS HEAD OF FINANCIAL PRODUCTS FOR ASIA

Vontobel Investment Banking has appointed Long Lee as head of financial products for Asia.

Lee will take up the Hong Kong-based role on February 5 and will report to Roger Studer, Zurich-based head of Vontobel Investment Banking. He manages sales activities in Singapore as well as trading activities in Hong Kong.

Lee will oversee about 20 people in Hong Kong and Singapore in this newly created role, according to a company spokeswoman. Asked who carried out his duties before Lee's appointment, Vontobel said only that it had "expanded its Asia footprint" and wanted to "propel growth by also leveraging the synergies of the two business lines".

He was previously the chief executive of Leonteq Securities Hong Kong, a Swiss-based derivatives investment product provider. Leonteq did not respond to requests for comment.

SWISS RE CREATES ASIA BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Swiss Re has launched its regional headquarters in Singapore and appointed a new regional board of directors for the entity.

Swiss Re Asia is chaired by Lim Siong Guan, former group president of GIC, and currently adviser to the GIC group executive committee.

Additional external directors to the board are:

  • Masaaki Shirakawa, professor at Aoyama Gakuin University and former governor of the Bank of Japan;
  • Deanna Ong Aun Nee, chief people officer and managing director at GIC;
  • Raymond K. F. Ch’ien, chairman of Hang Seng bank, member of the board of directors of Swiss Re, HSBC, China Resources Power Holdings Company and member of the Economic Development Commission of Hong Kong;
  • Urs Buchmann, vice-chairman, Greater China at Credit Suisse Hong Kong.

The board of directors also comprises five members of Swiss Re's group executive committee: Thomas Wellauer, group chief operating officer; Patrick Raaflaub, group chief risk officer; David Cole, group chief financial officer; John R. Dacey, group chief strategy officer; and Jayne Plunkett, chief executive officer of Swiss Re Asia.

FORMER AXA REAL ESTATE VETERAN TAKES ON NEW ROLE

Frank Khoo, previously global head of Asia at Axa Investment Manager - Real Asset, has joined Singapore-based real estate operating company City Developments Limited (CDL) as chief investment officer.

Khoo is taking up his duties this month (CDL did not respond to a request for the exact date). According to a post on CDL's website, he assists the CEO in the sourcing and execution of new investment opportunities, and also establish a dedicated fund management platform, according to the CDL website.

Khoo left Axa in November last year, according to his LinkedIn profile.

CDL has not replied to AsianInvestor’s query about the new appointment, while AXA IM said it has no comment on his departure.

EQT NAMES HEAD OF MID MARKET FOR CHINA

EQT, a Sweden-based alternative investment firm, has promoted Jerry He as head of mid-market for China.

He was previously a Shanghai-based partner in the firm and he took up the new role on January 1. He reports to Hong Kong-based Martin Mok, head of mid-market for Asia. He oversees equity investments in leading mid-sized companies in mainland China.

This is a new position created in the Asian mid-market leadership, which now consists of He, Mok and Tak Wai Chung, head of mid market for Southeast Asia, according to a company spokeswoman.

EQT funds have invested in 18 companies and deployed more than $1.2 billion in Asia.

Other people news reported on AsianInvestor in the past week:

Prudential poaches AIA’s Indonesia CIO