Weekly roundup of people news, Feb 26

EFG's SE Asia head resigns; Neuberger Berman in sales shuffle; Spence Johnson hires first Asia head; Credit Suisse boosts AES team; Northern Trust adds Pune operation; Latham & Watkins builds in HK, to open in Seoul; Iosco opening Asia branch; SS&C replaces Malaysia chief.
Weekly roundup of people news, Feb 26

EFG's Southeast Asia head to depart
EFG International’s Southeast Asia head of private banking, Tho Gea Hong, has resigned. It is understood that the move came prior to the February 22 announcement that EFG is to acquire rival Swiss private bank BSI from Brazil's Banco BTG Pactual's.

Tho reports to Kong Eng Huat, chief executive for Singapore and Southeast Asia, who is understood to be taking over Tho’s responsibilities in the meantime.

Albert Chiu, EFG chief executive for Asia Pacific, did not respond to a request for comment by press time. AsianInvestor could not ascertain if Tho will be replaced or when will be her last day.

Tho joined in August 2012 as deputy CEO and head of private banking for Southeast Asia. She was formerly managing director for wealth management covering Singapore and Malaysia at Merrill Lynch. She joined the US firm in 2004 and before that spent 17 years at Singapore's DBS Bank.

Neuberger Berman shuffles in private bank sales
Mark Serocold, head of private bank sales at US fund house Neuberger Berman in Hong Kong, is moving back to London to take on a UK intermediary sales role with the firm. Vincent Lim, head of private bank sales in Singapore, is assuming the Hong Kong duties in addition to his own.

Serocold joined Neuberger Berman in mid-2012, before which he held a similar role at Schroder Investment Management.

Ng Sze Yoon exits Cerulli for Spence Johnson
Spence Johnson, a UK-based consultancy focused on institutional asset management, has appointed Ng Sze Yoon as director for Asia Pacific, effective February 15.

Ng was previously managing director for Asia at Cerulli Associates in Singapore from 2014 until her departure in January this year. Ken Yap, Cerulli’s senior director for research analytics, will replace her.

Ng will set up Spence Johnson’s Asia operations with an initial focus on the firm’s data platform, Institutional Money in Motion (iMiM), which tracks $5 trillion in institutional assets. Based in Singapore, she reports to Nigel Birch, London-based director and architect of the iMiM platform.

Asked how many people will be in her team, Ng said: “For now, it will just be me based in Singapore. I'll be leveraging on the London team support, as the key focus will be getting their 80-plus existing members, who are essentially global managers, to contribute their Asia-Pacific institutional data on top of what they are doing on the Emea [Europe the Middle East and Africa] side.”

However, the plan is to build a strong local presence in Asia, as it is a top-priority market for Spence Johnson, she added.

Credit Suisse adds pair to AES team
Credit Suisse has bolstered its advanced execution services (AES) team in Asia Pacific with two senior hires.

Steven King joined this month in Hong Kong as head of AES sales for the region, leading sales of algorithmic trading strategies, tools and analytics for the region. King previously spent 18 years with Morgan Stanley, most recently leading its program trading desk in Asia. Morgan Stanley declined to comment on King's departure.

He is joined by Divyesh Patel, who started at Credit Suisse in January in Hong Kong as a senior coverage trader after 11 years with US execution broker ITG, where he most recently served as head of Asia electronic trading coverage.

King reports to Hani Shalabi, head of AES APAC, and Patel reports to Andrew Bruce, head of fundamental client coverage, Non-Japan Asia. 

The bank said both roles are newly created, but did not clarify by press time how AES sales had been covered prior to King's arrival.

Northern Trust to set up Pune operations centre
Northern Trust is to expand in India with a new operations centre for Northern Operating Services Private Limited (NOSPL) in Pune.

The office, which the firm expects to grow to at least 500 employees within two years, is slated to open in July. It will add to existing back-office operations in Bangalore and Manila. 

Mano Mathews will head the Pune office, reporting to Mosur Saisekar, head of NOSPL in India. He joined the company in 2009 and was most recently head of hedge fund services in Bangalore. Northern Trust said it would later announce a replacement for Mathews in Bangalore.

Latham & Watkins brings in five in HK, announces Seoul office
US law firm Latham & Watkins has hired three partners for its Hong Kong unit to strengthen its private equity and leveraged finance advisory business. In addition, two partners are transferring from other offices to the city.

The company has also announced plans to open a Seoul office, its sixth in Asia, having signed a property lease in the city.

Amy Beckingham joined after 12 years at law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London and Hong Kong. She provides advice to private equity and financial investors in public and private M&A as well as joint ventures.

Gary Hamp joins from Hogan Lovells, where he focused on acquisition and leveraged finance in London and Hong Kong. Hamp spent 11 years at Hogan Lovells, according to his LinkedIn profile. 

These two appointments took effect on February 1.

Simon Cooke, a specialist in private and public M&A and corporate finance, will start work “shortly”, Latham & Watkins said. He previously spent 20 years with law firm Clifford Chance.

Meanwhile James Burnett transferred to the Hong Kong office from London on February 1, while Josef Athanas, a 25-year veteran, will move from Chicago later this year.

Burnett specialises in public and private debt and equity offerings, bridge loans, acquisition financing and liability management transactions, while Athanas's focus areas are restructurings, distressed investments and distressed M&A.

Iosco to set up Kuala Lumpur hub
Kuala Lumpur is to host the Asia-Pacific regional office of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (Iosco). This will be the first time the global body of capital market regulators has had a presence outside its Madrid headquarters.

Iosco says the Asia-Pacific hub, expected to be up and running by the end of this year, will help its initiatives to build regulatory capabilities in the region, as well as assisting in cross-border cooperation and the development of the region’s capital markets.

SS&C hires new Malaysia chief
Financial services software provider SS&C Technologies Holdings has appointed Hong Kok Cheong as managing director for Malaysia, replacing Phil Bana, who is retiring.

Hong started work in Kuala Lumpur on February 15 and reports to Christy Bremner, general manager of SS&C’s institutional and investment management division.

Hong has 26 years’ experience in business operations and sales for global technology providers, most recently as country general manager for IBM’s software group in Malaysia.

Other people moves reported recently on

Julia Leung in "unsual" switch at Hong Kong SFC

Lazard AM cuts Asia ex-Japan equity team

Ex-KGI exec gets three-year Hong Kong ban

Credit Suisse names Asia alts head, broadens ETF coverage

KIC's CIO, COO and CRO to exit in shake-up

CSRC replaces head amid China market turmoil

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