Future Fund founder makes return
Australia’s Future Fund announced the appointment of Peter Costello as its new chairman for a five-year term. It also named John Poynton, chairman of boutique firm Azure Capital, to its board of guardians.

Both men have already started their roles at the sovereign wealth fund. Costello served as treasurer to the Australian government from 1996 to 2007. The Future Fund was established in 2006, so would have been under Costello’s purview for little more than a year after that.

Costello has been a member of the Future Fund board since 2009 and was elevated to acting chairman after the departure of David Gonski last month to become chairman of ANZ. Costello’s promotion was confirmed on February 5.

The Future Fund has recorded an annual return of 8.2% over five years and 9.7% over three to September 30. It had $95.6 billion in assets under management at the end of last year.

BlackRock to reveal strategy team changes
US-based fund house BlackRock confirmed it would make further announcements soon following the exit of Nick Good as head of strategy and business development for Asia Pacific.

Good took the decision to leave the firm at the end of last month “to pursue other opportunities”, a spokeperson for the $4 trillion fund house told AsianInvestor. “We will make further announcements about the leadership of the strategy team in due course.”

Good’s departure comes on the eve of his second anniversary in the role. Prior to that he was Asia-Pacific head of iShares, the exchange-traded funds arm that formed part of BlackRock’s 2009 acquisition of Barclays Global Investors.

Vanguard to relocate Asia investments head
US fund house Vanguard has promoted Rodney Comegys to head of its equity investment group for Asia Pacific.

Comegys will relocate from the US to Melbourne, where he will take responsibility for the Asia-Pacific equity group and Vanguard’s 53 investment professionals in Australia. He will report to global head of equity investing Joe Brennan.

Comegys replaces Gregory Davis, who returns to the firm’s US headquarters in Pennsylvania to become global head of fixed income.

Until now Comegys had been based in the US leading Vanguard’s ETF trading and index analysis teams, part of the equity investment group that manages 79 portfolios and $1.3 trillion in assets.

AMP Capital replaces fixed income head
Australia-based AMP Capital has named Simon Warner as its new head of fixed income, effective immediately.

Having spent the past seven years as head of macro markets in the fixed income team, Warner succeeds Mark Beardow, who was named specialist investment team CIO in December.

This new role will see Beardow take overall responsibility for the firm’s fixed income, fundamental equities and multi-strategy equities teams, as well as global equities dealing, exposure management and portfolio analytics. Warner reports to Beardow.

The reshuffle follows the departure of David Kiddie, who relocated to the UK last year.

AMP Capital has a 30-strong fixed income investment team based across Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Chicago. As of September, its fund had A$135 billon ($121 billion) in assets under management.

Prior to joining AMP Capital in March 2007, Warner held a range of investment roles with JP Morgan Chase across London, Sydney and Singapore.

Lazard hires six-strong Dubai team
US fund house Lazard Asset Management has staffed its newly opened office in Dubai with a six-strong team formerly at ING Investment Management.

Farah Foustok will run the office as senior executive officer with a remit to develop business in the Middle East. She will oversee local investment management, sales and distribution of investment products.

Meanwhile Fadi Al Said, portfolio manager and analyst, will run an investment team covering Middle East and North Africa (Mena) and frontier market equity strategies. This includes portfolio manager Walid Mourad and research analysts Talal Noueihed, Jagdish Bathija and Sleiman Aboul Hosn.

An ING IM spokesperson says: “We have been reviewing the [Middle East and North Africa] business to decide what we are going to do with [the equities business] … with the possibility of stopping the business in Mena." The unit managed €314 million in assets, out of the group’s €176 billion globally.

While the Mena equities team has left, the ING IM spokesman confirms that an office will still be open for sales and client servicing centre for the region.

The six departures come amid ongoing divestment within the Dutch group – a legacy of its past after having accepted a €10 billion bailout from the Netherlands government during the global financial crisis.

Credit Suisse adds in Greater China
The private banking unit of Credit Suisse announced the appointment of Rickie Chan as one of its market leaders for Greater China.

Based in Hong Kong, Chan reports to Tee Fong Seng, market area head for Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. Chan joins from Barclays, where he was Hong Kong market head for ultra-high-net-worth clients.

Last May Vivian Chan, market leader for Hong Kong, quit Credit Suisse to join Barclays as head of North Asia for its private banking business.

Credit Suisse then appointed Jimmy Lee to replace Vivian Chan internally. He had previously been market leader for Malaysia based in Singapore. In October it added Luo Liuyi as another one of its Greater China market leaders. She joined from China International Capital Corporation Hong Kong Securities.

The following month it hired Jason Yeung from Julius Baer as senior client partner to focus on the ultra-high-net-worth clients in Greater China.

A spokesman for Barclays declined to comment on whether there will be any replacement for Rickie Chan.

Deutsche hires for Emea distribution
Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management announced the appointment of Barbara Rupf Bee as head of its global client group for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (Emea).

Her remit covers the distribution of products and services to institutional and retail clients across the region, which accounts for €600 billion (64%) of DeAWM’s €931 billion in AUM.  

Based in Frankfurt, Rupf Bee reports to Dario Schiraldi, head of the global client group. She comes to replace Peter Roemer, who left Deutsche to pursue other opportunities.

Previously Rupf Bee spent two years with Renaissance Asset Managers, a boutique fund house focused on emerging Europe, Russia and Africa.

M&G names new global equities fund management team
UK-based M&G Investments appointed John William Olsen to its global equities fund management team. He will join in April based in London, but M&G says it has yet to decide on the title for the newly created role.

Olsen joins from Copenhagen-based fund house Danske Capital, where he served as portfolio manager.

Aetos Japan names Minoru Machida as MD
Aetos Japan has rehired Minoru Machida as managing director and senior executive to source and execute real estate deals in the country.

The firm was established in 2001 as a subsidiary of New York-based Aetos Capital Real Estate, which has sponsored four funds with a combined worth of $3.8 billion focused on real estate investments in Asia.

Over the past nine years, Machida has held a variety of investment-related roles in the Japanese and Asian real estate markets, including serving as managing director for Japan at Warburg Pincus.

Machida previously worked at Aetos Japan from 2001 to 2005 as managing director, before which he was executive vice-president at Lone Star Japan Acquisitions. “The Japanese real estate market is showing signs of recovery after a prolonged period of decline,” he says.

CVC Capital Partners adds senior adviser
Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners has named Jeremy Hobbins as senior adviser to its Asia team. Based in Hong Kong, his appointment is effective immediately.

Roy Kuan, managing partner of CVC Asia, said Hobbins would support the firm’s efforts to identify and evaluate cross-border opportunities in Asia.

Hobbins has held a number of senior management, executive and board positions at a variety of companies. He is currently director of Fung Holdings and sits on the board of Convenience Retail Asia. Prior to that he was managing director of menswear company Trinity.

Fund Executives Association appoints CEO
Australia’s Fund Executives Association appointed Joanna Davison as chief executive officer.

Davison, who has been acting CEO since November last year, will be responsible for providing educational and development programmes for the association. She has held senior leadership roles at Colonial First State Global Asset Management and Russell Investments.

Michael Baldwin stepped down as CEO last October after 12 years with the group.

Other people news reported in AsianInvestor this week:

Hermes installs Asia sales head in buildout

Ping An's Ben Rudd to join new family office