FWD HIRES HONG KONG CEO FROM UNION LIFE

FWD Group, a Hong Kong-based insurer, has hired Ken Lau as CEO for Hong Kong and Macau to replace the retiring David Wong.

Lau (pictured) officially joined FWD as managing director for Greater China and CEO-designate for Hong Kong and Macau on February 1, but the formal appointment will be made after getting approval from the Insurance Authority in Hong Kong, a spokesman said.

Lau reports to CEO Huynh Thanh Phong. He will lead FWD’s business in Hong Kong and Macau and oversee the future establishment of FWD in Greater China.

Wong, CEO for Hong Kong and Macau, and executive vice-president for Greater China, will retire from his position from April 2018. But he will continue to work with FWD Group as an adviser and will retain his position as chairman of FWD Vietnam.

Lau was previously CEO of Union Life Insurance Co. China, which could not be reached for comment.

MERCER BULKS UP WEALTH BUSINESS TEAM FOR ASIA

Mercer has confirmed the new leaders of its Asia wealth business after a group wide shake-up started a year ago.

Effective January 1, Adeline Tan was promoted to wealth business leader for Hong Kong and now reports to Janet Li, wealth business leader for Asia. Tan was previously the head of investment advisory for Hong Kong, and in her new capacity has replaced Billy Wong, who has moved to become Mercer’s health business leader for Hong Kong.

Simon Coxeter rejoined Mercer in October 2017 as a principal in its hedge fund and equity boutiques after leaving in April for a brief period to work at Franklin Templeton Investments. He is based in Singapore and is responsible for evaluating multi-asset and equity strategies.

Coxeter came back to the role he had left. He reports to Nerida Law, Hong Kong-based principal in Mercer’s equity boutique, a spokeswoman said.

Li (pictured) took up her new role on January 2, as first reported by AsianInvestor. She reports to Lisa Sun, Mercer's chief executive and zone leader for South and East Asia.

Li is responsible for leading the firm's wealth advisory and delegated implementation team, including investments and retirement. She was previously Willis Towers Watson's (WTW) director of investments for Greater China. WTW is believed to be not seeking a replacement for Li.

The US-headquartered consultancy firm merged its investment and retirement divisions into the newly named wealth business in January 2017 and a number of senior executives have since departed.

BLACKROCK APPOINTS APAC HEAD OF FIG

US asset manager BlackRock has named Kimberly Kim as head of its Asia-Pacific financial institutions group.

Due to take up her duties in April 2018, Kim (pictured top) will be responsible for formulating and executing business strategy targeting insurance companies in Asia, and she will report to Apac head of client business Andrew Landman and head of global financial institutions group David Lomas.

The Hong Kong-based role is newly created, with the global financial institutions group covering the responsibilities with help from the local client business team prior to Kim’s appointment, a company spokeswoman said.

Kim was most recently head of the global client group for Hong Kong and regional head of insurance coverage for Apac ex-Japan at Deutsche Asset Management. Deutsche declined to comment on her exit date and her replacement.

BEA APPOINTS HEAD OF PRIVATE BANKING

Hong Kong-based Bank of East Asia has named Jessica Ng as head of its private banking department.

Ng is based in Hong Kong, and is responsible for the development of BEA’s private banking business, as well as building up the private banking team.

She is based in Hong Kong and reports to Grace Chow, head of the wealth management division. Ng has been with BEA since 2000, and she joined the private banking business in 2005.

Gloria Sun, the former head of the private banking department, joined Deutsche Bank Wealth Management in May 2017 as managing director and group head of Greater China.

BEA declined to comment to AsianInvestor on who led the department in the interim, Ng's start date, or her most recent role at BEA.

SUN LIFE NAMES ASIA HEAD OF CREDIT RESEARCH

Sun Life Investment Management, part of Canadian insurer Sun Life, has appointed Nguyen Tieu-Bich as head of Asia credit research.

Effective February 7, Hong Kong-based Nguyen is responsible for leading the credit research team, focusing on credit analyses and providing strategic advice on credit cycle positioning for the firm.

She reports to Sun Life Asia chief investment officer Sancho Chan, as well as senior managing director of North American credit research David Hamlin.

The role is newly created to support Sun Life’s business growth in the Apac region, a company spokesman said. Prior to her appointment, regional credit research was covered by the global team in Toronto, Canada, and Wellesley, in the US, the spokesman added.

Nguyen was most recently senior vice-president and partner at US investment manager Wellington Management Company. Wellington did not respond to AsianInvestor queries by press time.

MUZINICH EXPANDS ASIA TEAM

Muzinich, a US-based credit specialist asset manager, has appointed Andrea Ng as associate director of marketing and clients relations for Asia.

She took up the Singapore-based role in early January and her main responsibilities cover building and maintaining relationships with private banks and family offices in Singapore and Hong Kong.

She reports to Eric Pictet, managing director for Asia. Ng was previously at First State Investments, where she was associate director for the institutional business, according to her LinkedIn profile.

A company spokeswoman said the role was newly created to support the buildout of its client services in the region.

The New York-based company, which obtained a Monetary Authority of Singapore licence in June 2017, opened its Singapore office in early 2017, as first reported by AsianInvestor.

Mel Siew, an experienced credit analyst with 16 years of investment experience, relocated from London to Singapore in June last year to establish a research presence in the region. 

First State declined to comment on Ng's departure.

LOMBARD ODIER SINGAPORE CEO NAMED LIMITED PARTNER

Vincent Magnenat has been named (effective February 2018) a limited partner at Lombard Odier in addition to retaining his position as chief executive officer for Asia and Asia head of private banking.

He becomes one of only 19 partners in the business worldwide, and the only one based in Asia.

Magnenat joined the group in 2014 as CEO of the Singapore office and Asia head of private banking. Prior to joining Lombard Odier, he spent close to nine years at Société Générale as regional head of sales and marketing for private banking in Asia, overseeing business development efforts across the region. 

M&G APPOINTS REAL ESTATE HEAD

Tony Brown has been named head of M&G real estate following Alex Jeffrey’s appointment to lead M&G Investments in Asia Pacific from April 2018.

Simon Pilcher, chief executive of M&G’s institutional fixed income business, will become executive chairman, providing strategic direction to M&G real estate in addition to his other duties. 



Brown, who reports to Pilcher, was formerly chief investment officer at M&G real estate, and his current responsibilities will be split between two newly created roles.

Martin Towns has been promoted to head of UK commercial and capital solutions.

A head of investment strategy role will also be created to oversee investment governance and drive thought leadership in research and digital innovation.

Both roles will report to Brown and have a seat on the M&G real estate board.

Following the recent merger of M&G and Prudential’s UK and European business to form M&G Prudential, the role of executive chairman has been created to broaden the distribution of real estate strategies and accelerate growth, the company said in a statement.

BMO PRIVATE BANK APPOINTS SE ASIA BUSINESS HEAD

Andrew Tjia joined BMO Private Bank in Singapore on February 8 as managing director and business head for Southeast Asia.

He was previously VP Bank’s head of private banking for Singapore. 

AsianInvestor had previously reported that he was stepping down in January from that role. A spokesperson for VP Bank said a replacement for Tjia had not yet been announced.