Weekly roundup of people news, Feb 21

RBC Global AM adds in equities, Yuanta chairman retires, prop trading firm GAAZ-QT launches in Hong Kong, Withers relocates lawyer to Asia.
Weekly roundup of people news, Feb 21

RBC Global Asset Management adds trio
Canada’s RBC Global Asset Management has made three additions to its equities business.

Tomonori Kaneko and David Soh join as equity analysts and Clement Cheng as an equities trader. They started work within the past two months in Hong Kong and report to Mayur Nallamala, head of Asian equities.

RBC Global AM is growing its operations in the region, and the hires are additions rather than replacements, says a company spokesman.

Kaneko will be responsible for covering Japan, reporting to Nallamala. He was most recently with hedge fund Marshall Wace as a senior investment analyst and junior portfolio manager for Japan equity strategies. He started there in 2008.

Soh joins from Credit Suisse, where he specialised in quantitative investment strategies for institutional fund managers focused on Asia Pacific ex-Japan. He will continue to cover that region.

Cheng was most recently at China’s Harvest Asset Management covering equities and derivatives, primarily in Asia but also in Europe and the US. Cheng will be assisted by Helen Loke on RBC Global AM’s Asia’s new dealing desk.

Nallamala had joined RBC from JP Morgan Asset Management in August.

The Hong Kong office houses 11 staff, which focus on global and Asian equities. RBC Global AM manages $1.6 billion in Asian equity assets out of a global AUM of C$310 billion ($279 billion).

Marshall Wace declined to comment on whether there has been or will be any replacement for Kaneko. Credit Suisse declined to comment with regard to Soh, and Harvest did not respond to enquiries about Cheng.

Yuanta SITC chairman retires
Kao Kang Sheng has resigned as chairman of Yuanta Securities Investment Trust Company, Taiwan’s biggest mutual fund house, effective March 1.

His original term was due to finish in May 2015, but the 70-year-old has already passed Taiwan’s mandatory retirement age of 65.

Kao has extensive experience in the financial industry. He has served as a consultant for the Ministry of Finance, and chairman of Taiwan Depository and Clearing Corporation and Taiwan Futures Exchange. He has also been chairman to Fuhwa Bank and Fuhwa Securities, vice chairman of Yuanta Securities and chairman of Yuanta Futures.

Local media reports that vice chairman Francis Tu will succeed Kao. Yuanta Financial Holdings, which holds 72% stake in Yuanta SITC, says: “The report is purely a media prediction and the company has no comment.”

New proprietary trading firm launches in HK
Arjen Gaasbeek, founding member of industry group eTrading Association, has started a proprietary trading firm, GAAZ-QT, in Hong Kong. He launched the first strategy at the end of January, focusing on high- to medium-frequency statistical arbitrage.

Gaasbeek had also worked for Korean proprietary trading firm Ingensoma from 2008 to 2013, where he briefly traded Kospi 200 options. He helped start the firm’s algorithmic trading desk in Hong Kong.

Prior to that he has also worked for market-making firm Optiver in the Netherlands and Australia in equity derivatives. He has also worked as a risk manager at ABN Amro Clearing, where he helped the clearing bank manage credit and market risk. 

Withers relocates wealth planner to Asia
Law firm Withers this month relocated Zhang Wei to its Hong Kong office from New York to focus on tax and estate planning for high-net-worth individuals and families in Asia.

Withers says the move was a response to growing interest for US tax planning services among Asia-based families and that Zhang has not replaced anyone.

She joined Withers in New York in 2010 to work on tax, estate planning and expatriation issues for families with US connections. This included advising on Inland Revenue Service voluntary disclosure programmes.

Jay Krause, head of the firm’s Asia wealth planning practice, says Zhang will work closely with its Chinese planning team, as a native Mandarin speaker.

The spokesperson points to demand from the growing number of Chinese HNWIs, noting Withers has been hiring Chinese speakers. Other enquiries have centred on changing regulation (such as Fatca, IRS VD Programme and immigration factors), and clients changing citizenship or renouncing US citizenship.

Withers’ wealth planning practice in Asia consists of 17 lawyers, with the spokesperson saying it has been adding staff in the past 12 months.

Recent arrivals include Connie Yik Kong, Suzanne Johnston and Karen Lai. The firm has also added Hong Kong-based consultant Michelle Chow, who was previously legal counsel for the Li Ka Shing Foundation.

These came after the promotions of Philip Munro and Fernando Gandioli as Singapore-based partners. The firm opened its Singapore office in 2012.

Withers has also been building out its family practice in Hong Kong and Singapore, including five recent hires. This business line has seen the senior departure of Stacey Devoy, but the firm says it has hired a replacement, who will be starting shortly.

Other people moves reported by AsianInvestor in the past week:

Auscoal seeks absolute returns with CIO hire

Family offices plot overseas expansion

Mercer replaces Middle East investment head

Trade body to launch asset management group

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