US family office hires former BlackRock exec as Asia chief
Point72 Asset Management  – the family office of Steven Cohen, founder of now-defunct US hedge fund SAC Capital – has named Marc Desmidt in the newly created role of chief executive for Asia Pacific.

Desmidt, formerly of BlackRock, will oversee the operations of the firm’s offices in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.

At Point72, the investment heads in Asia will report to Desmidt. Seiji Onoe in Tokyo will continue to lead the portfolio managers who focus on Japan, and Howard Man, based in Hong Kong, will continue to lead the other investment teams in the region.

Desmidt was previously head of strategic product management at US fund house BlackRock based in Hong Kong. He also previously served as head of alpha strategies, during which time he was lead manager on the Japan Value Fund and the Blackrock Global Fund.

Desmidt has been with Blackrock since 1991, including his time at legacy business Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, where he was head of investment in Tokyo.

Point72 AM is based in Stamford, Conneticut and manages the assets of Cohen and eligible employees. It mainly does long/short equity investments and also makes significant quantitative and macro investments. The firm does not accept external investments.

Columbia Threadneedle names SE Asia sales head
UK manager Columbia Threadneedle Investments has promoted Jon Allen to sole Asia-Pacific head of institutional sales and hired Dennis Quah as Southeast Asia head of wholesale distribution.

Allen was previously regional co-head of institutional sales with June Wong, who left in December to join State Street Global Advisors as Asia chief, while Quah's position is newly created.

Allen has been building the regional institutional business for the firm for six years, based in Singapore. He oversees a team comprising Sandra Cheng, head of institutional sales for Southeast Asia; Mark Chan, head of institutional sales for Greater China; Chris Lee, chief representative for Korea; and Yoshihisa Kojima, sales director for Japan.

Quah joined the firm in December from French fund house Amundi in Singapore, where he was head of distribution sales for Southeast Asia. He reports to Michael Langlois, head of wholesale distribution for Asia Pacific at Columbia Threadneedle. Amundi is in the process of replacing Quah.

Before joining Amundi, Quah was an investment product manager at Singapore’s OCBC Bank and a business development manager at Schroder Investment Management in Singapore.

Barclays loses South and Southeast Asia head
Srinivas Siripurapu, Barclays’ head of wealth management for South and Southeast Asia has resigned, and more bankers and middle-office staff are said to be looking to leave. This comes amid expectations that the UK bank will sell its Asia wealth business and make cuts elsewhere in the group.

AsianInvestor could not ascertain when would be Siripurapu’s last day at the bank and where he is heading. Barclays declined to comment for this story.

Siripurapu’s resignation follows that of Didier von Daeniken as chief executive for Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, who will become global head of private banking at Standard Chartered in March, as reported.

With von Daeniken’s departure comes a change in reporting lines. All market heads (Singapore, Hong Kong and India) will now report directly to Akshaya Bhargava, chief executive for wealth and investment management in London.

Vikram Malhotra is understood to have been named head of sales for Singapore to take up part of Siripurapu’s responsibility, in addition to his role as head of global South Asia community, overseeing teams in Dubai, India and Singapore. 

Siripurapu joined Barclays in 2009 from UBS where he was head for NRIs in Asia, as reported.

One headhunter said: “Barclays’ management hasn’t denied market rumours that the Asia private banking [business] will be put on sale – that is what one employee told me.”

“Relationship managers and other people within want to move, especially the middle and back office, because there is always the issue of overlapping staff/functions with the buyer bank.”

Standard Chartered names new country heads
Standard Chartered Private bank has name new market heads for Greater China, Indonesia and Singapore, and added a director to the managed solutions team. All the new appointments are based in Singapore.

Stephen Richards Evans has taken on the role of Indonesia market head in addition to his responsibilities as global head of the ultra-high-net-worth proposition.

Evans has been leading the UHNW business since May 2015 and will continue to collaborate with Peter Kok, head of Asean and South Asia, in developing the private bank’s Indonesia strategy.

Gary Goh joined in December as Singapore market head from UBS, where he was desk head looking after the Chinese entrepreneur segment.

Kimmis Pun has been appointed market head for Greater China, also in December, having previously been managing director of the China market at BNP Paribas.

The bank did not respond to a query about who had held the market head roles previously.

Meanwhile, Standard Chartered has added Cynthia Lai in Singapore as director and managed solutions advisor in its wealth management unit. She joined in September 2015 from Citi, where she was head of fund performance analysis.

She focuses on portfolio construction and promoting managed investments, including mutual funds, discretionary solutions and alternative investments.

Lai reports to Mario Christoph Becker, head of investment advisory for Southeast Asia, who is also based in Singapore.

Credit Suisse hires ex-BSI banker for NRI team
Credit Suisse Private Banking has hired Ashwin Jayaram as team head for non-resident indian (NRI) business in Asia Pacific. Based in Singapore, he joined earlier this month from Switzerland’s BSI Bank, where he was team head for NRI.

The appointment comes as Credit Suisse expands its NRI team, with several bankers joining Jayaram from BSI, but Credit Suisse declined to provide their names. 

Jayaram reports to Balakrishnan Kunnambath, who joined Credit Suisse as market group head for NRI Asia Pacific from DBS Private Bank in November last year. He replaced Venugopal Vishwanathan, who retired in July, as reported.  

BSI didn’t comment on whether there had been a replacement as of press time.

QIC adds to infrastructure team in New York
Australia’s Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) has named Eric Belman to the global infrastructure team in its New York office, which opened in October 2014. He will lead infrastructure origination, investment and execution efforts in North America.

Belman’s January 4 appointment is part of the Brisbane-based asset manager’s geographic expansion strategy. It follows the appointment in March 2015 of Giles Tucker in London to develop QIC's European infrastructure investments efforts and Vittorio Lacagnina in October 2014 to lead investor origination in infrastructure across the northern hemisphere.

Prior to joining QIC, Mr Belman had been managing director for business development at GE Power and Water since 2007. He has also led cross-functional M&A and strategy teams at United Technologies and PepsiCo, and began his career at Bain & Company.

Currently there are four employees in New York, and QIC also has a presence in Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco.

QIC runs A$74.6 billion ($52.4 billion) across infrastructure, real estate, private equity, liquid strategies and multi-asset investments.

MUFG announces senior changes in Asia
Japan’s Mitsubishi UFG Financial Group, has relocated international head of research Rick Mattila to Hong Kong and appointed Yasutaka Suehiro as its new head of Asia.

Mattila has played a significant role in the expansion of MUFG’s businesses in Europe and North America for the past five years and his move coincides with an intended further focus on Asia, said the firm. After 15 years of covering investment-grade and high-yield credits in Europe, Mattila’s market coverage will shift to Asian names.

He will retain his oversight of strategist and analyst functions across all asset classes on an international basis. He will report to Dong Nam, head of credit trading and sales for Asia, and internationally to Jim Higgins, international head of credit.

Prior to joining MUFG in 2010, Mattila held positions at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein.

Trent Hagland, head of Asia and chief executive of Mitsubishi UFJ Securities (Hong Kong), will step down and return to Australia for personal reasons. He has been in Hong Kong in his current role for four years and at the firm for seven.

Suehiro, a 28-year veteran of MUFG and current deputy CEO of Mitsubishi UFJ Securities (USA), will join the Asia team to replace Hagland on April 29.

Hagland will join the board as a non-executive director for Mitsubishi UFJ Securities (HK) and Mitsubishi UFJ Securities (Singapore).

Suehiro and Hagland will work closely together over the next few months until the formal transition on April 29.

Julius Baer appoints head of new investment management division
Swiss private bank Julius Baer has recruited Yves Henri Bonzon from rival Pictet Wealth Management to lead a newly created investment management division, effective February 1.

Bonzon, who was chief investment officer at Pictet, is now a member of the executive board of Julius Baer, reporting to chief executive Boris Collardi.

The Swiss bank said the new IM division will complement the existing investment solutions group headed by Burkhard Varnholt, who will act as co-CIO with Bonzon.

Bonzon has been with Pictet since 1989, before which he completed a traineeship in wealth management and corporate banking at UBS.

Bonzon had been expected to join BSI, part of Brazilian group BTG Pactual. But he decided against the move after BTG put up BSI for sale last year following the arrest of BTG's founder over a corruption probe in Brazil, reported Citywire.

At Pictet, Bonzon was replaced by Cesar Perez Ruiz, formerly global head of investment strategy at JP Morgan Private Bank, as reported

Apollo Global’s Asia head leaves to join Trafigura
Tan Chin Hwee, the founding partner for Apollo Global Management’s Asia business, has left the alternatives firm to join Swiss commodity trader Trafigura in Singapore as chief executive for Asia Pacific.

Tan spent nine years at Apollo, which has $185 billion in assets under management. The firm did not respond by press time to a query about who will replace him.

He was previously a managing director at US hedge fund Amaranth Advisors focused on public and private investment opportunities in Asia.

Other people moves reported this week on AsianInvestor.net:

BlackRock to integrate equity unit in reshuffle

Adia names PE head, eyes more co-investment

Ex-Myriad, Black's Link exec gets Hong Kong ban

JP Morgan AM names new China retail head

Julius Baer continues management shuffle