Weekly roundup of people news, Jan 18

M&G's Apac institutional head exits firm; State Street and BNP Paribas Securities Services appoint new regional heads; Janus Henderson adds new Asia team heads; Benjamin Deng takes on new roles in IAMAC; a new Abu Dhabi fund house targets east Asia; 'Jack' Bogle passes away and more.
Weekly roundup of people news, Jan 18


UK fund house M&G has confirmed to AsianInvestor that Marcel de Bruijckere, director of institutional business for Asia Pacific, left the business this month.

Following de Bruijckere’s departure, M&G’s institutional clients in Japan and Australia will continue to be served by Taro Shiroyama, managing director for institutional business development for Japan; Keii Fukunaga, sales manager for global distribution; and Chris Andrews, head of business development in Australia, in those regions, a spokeswoman told AsianInvestor.

“The Singaporean and Korean institutional markets will be covered by Barnaby Jones, associate director for institutional sales for Asia Pacific, in addition to his Hong Kong responsibilities,” she added.

De Bruijckere's LinkedIn page says he is "available for CEO/institutional business development roles, interim manager and contract roles in Singapore and Hong Kong".


US financial services firm and custodian State Street has named Ian Martin as its new head of Asia Pacific, replacing former head Seck Wai-Kwong who has left the company.

Seck left State Street to pursue new opportunities, said a media statement on the promotion. State Street did not respond to AsianInvestor queries on when he had left the firm.

Based in Hong Kong, Martin reports to Andrew Erickson, head of global services worldwide. According to a media statement, Martin will be involved in developing the industry’s first global platform to connect the front, middle and back office, in addition to his previous responsibilities as head of global services in the region.

Martin is a State Street veteran with 25 years in the investment management firm, where he has served from multiple locations in the region in businesses including investment servicing, trading and research.


Benjamin Deng, the recently appointed group chief investment officer of China Pacific Insurance, has taken up two roles at the Insurance Asset Management Association of China (IAMAC).

Benjamin Deng

Deng became the vice chairman of the asset liability management (ALM) committee as well as the investment research committee in January this year and November last year, respectively.

The ALM committee aims to promote better ALM practice in the insurance industry by providing research and consultancy services, while the investment research committee provides research on the capital market, Deng told AsianInvestor.

Top executives in the committees are reshuffled every three years. AsianInvestor could not ascertain who the vice chairmen of the two committees were previously.

IAMAC is an industry body representing the asset management subsidiaries under the supervision of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.

Deng joined China Pacific Insurance in September, after leaving Hong Kong-based insurer AIA. 


Janus Henderson Investors has appointed Spencer Seto as head of institutional sales for Asia ex-Japan, and Serena Sim as head of wholesale distribution for Southeast Asia.

Seto will join from PGIM in Singapore, where he was senior vice president in the client advisory group covering institutional sales. He has also previously worked with State Street Global Advisors and HSBC Global Asset Management.

Seto will replace Ellen Li, who was institutional sales head, a spokesman for Janus Henderson told AsianInvestor. She left in May last year. Seto will be based in Hong Kong for his new role, which begins in February.

Sim joined on December 26 from BNP Paribas Asset Management, where she was vice president, head of wholesale distribution for Singapore. She will be based in Singapore. Sim took over from Wong Hur Ming, who left in October, the spokesman added.

Both hires will report to Scott Steele, head of distribution for Asia.

PGIM did not respond to AsianInvestor queries on when Seto left, or if a replacement has been named.

A spokesman for BNP Paribas Asset Management said Sim left the fund house in December. 

"Her role will be replaced but covered by the wholesale distribution team in Singapore in the interim," he added.

*This story has been updated.


BNP Paribas has said that Mostapha Tahiri will succeed Philippe Benoît as head of BNP Paribas Securities Services Asia Pacific, effective February 1.

Tahiri will continue to expand BNP Paribas Securities Services’ business in the Asia Pacific region, a media statement said.

Prior to his new appointment, Tahiri was head of institutional investors and head of digital transformation for Asia Pacific. A spokeswoman for BNP Paribas said a replacement for Tahiri in his previous role will be announced soon.

In his new role, Tahiri will be based in Singapore and will report to José Placido, global head of client development for BNP Paribas Securities Services, and to Eric Raynaud, member of the BNP Paribas group executive committee and CEO for Asia Pacific.

Tahiri will also join the executive committee of BNP Paribas Securities Services and the BNP Paribas regional executive team, the media statement said.

Benoît will relocate to Paris and take up his new role as head of strategic business development and transformation on February 1. In this position, he will report to Patrick Colle and join the executive committee of BNP Paribas Securities Services.


AD Global Investors (ADGI), a fixed income asset manager newly set up by Invest AD, an Abu Dhabi state-owned investment firm, has named its management team and declared an intention to target clients in East Asia and elsewhere.

David Rothon is ADGI’s chief executive, while Ian Clarke and Idrissa Boly are co-chief investment officers. They previously worked together in the asset management department at First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB).

All three resigned in April 2018 from FAB, where Rothon was head of asset management, Clarke was head of fixed income and Boly was a senior fund manager on the fixed income team, a spokesman for ADGI told AsianInvestor.

FAB could not be immediately reached for comment.

Rothon and Boly also previously worked together at Colchester Global Investors, a fixed income manager based in London.

“We do not have a fixed hiring plan as such,” he added. “Based on the current pipeline of new business, we expect to hire a portfolio manager/research analyst within the next six months.”

ADGI does not plan to relocate sales or investment professionals to Asia or elsewhere in the first couple of years, said the spokesman, “but [we] believe it would be a natural progression to have a physical presence over time in other regions in order to be closer to our investors”.

ADGI has been granted a licence to manage funds and assets by Abu Dhabi’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority. It launched four Ucits funds on January 3.

Serving institutional investors, ADGI has focused on strategies in emerging market debt, Middle East and North Africa Fixed Income and global sukuk (Islamic bonds).

The spokesman said ADGI expects the firm’s local and hard currency emerging market debt strategies to be the products of most interest in Asia.


Nuveen has appointed Alexander Prout as head of international advisory services, effective February 12. 

Alex Prout

Based in New York, he will replace John Panagakis, who is leaving the firm on March 1 to pursue new opportunities.

Prout was previously based in Hong Kong as Deutsche Asset Management’s (now DWS) head of Asia-Pacific. Prout left the company in December last year and AsianInvestor understands that he has been replaced by Holger Naumann, a board member of DWS Investment.

At Nuveen, Prout will run a team of global distribution professionals based in countries including the UK, US and Australia to expand the firm’s international presence.

Prout will be based in New York and will report Margo Cook, president of Nuveen Advisory Services.

Nuveen is the investment management arm of The Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America-College Retirement Equities Fund. The US investment manager has about $988 billion in assets under management. 


Man GLG, the discretionary investment management business of Man Group, has appointed Nick Longcroft as Hong Kong-based portfolio manager within its long-short equity team.

Longcroft started the role on January 14 and reports to Neil Mason, London-based head of European long-short equity at Man GLG.

In this newly created role, he runs the technology, media and telecoms (TMT) pan-Asia strategy. The extension of the TMT strategy to Asia offers diversification for the investment platform, a company spokeswoman said.

Longcroft was previously the lead portfolio manager at Nezu Asia Capital Management, where he also focused on equity long-short strategy within the TMT universe. Nezu Asia did not immediately reply to AsianInvestor’s query about his departure.


Union Bancaire Privée’s (UBP) new Taiwan unit has won the licence to serve as a master agent to sell its own, mostly offshore, funds to institutional and intermediary clients in Taiwan.

The new unit is headed by Sunnie Pan, who was previously head of business development at UBP's joint venture in Taiwan.

Previously, the Switzerland-based fund house's products were distributed via a joint venture with a local insurer TransGlobe Life insurance set up in 2011. UBP Asset Management left the partnership in 2017, set up its fully-owned unit, UBP Asset Management Taiwan, in September 2018. It then obtained a Securities Investment Consulting Enterprises (Sice) licence on December 3.

Pan was also appointed as general manager last year to lead the wholly-owned unit. There are now seven employees in the master agent business and UBP is planning to hire additional sales and marketing staff, a company spokeswoman said.

Pimco also obtained the Sice licence in Taiwan last year.


BNP Paribas Wealth Management has appointed David Lim as co-head of Southeast Asia markets, effective February 7.

Based in Singapore and reporting to Arnaud Tellier, head of wealth management, Southeast Asia, Lim will be responsible for growing the private bank’s regional ultra-high net worth client business, with an emphasis on the Singapore and Malaysia markets.

Lim replaces David Koay, who left the private bank last year. In his new role, Lim will work alongside Inge Kua, who remains co-head for SE Asia markets with a specific focus on Indonesia.

He was previously with Credit Suisse as vice chairman for private banking Southeast Asia. AsianInvestor understands that Eric Kang, who joined Credit Suisse from UBS Wealth Management, has replaced Lim. 


John Clifton Bogle, the founder of Vanguard Group, died in Pennsylvania on January 16. He was 89.

John Clifton Bogle

Bogle, who was popularly called 'Jack', was a true investing legend. Outspoken and happy to contradict the executives of his own company, he is chiefly credited with having created and introduced the first index mutual fund in 1975, tracking the S&P500 stock index.

The fund was initially not very popular – Bogle told AsianInvestor in 2016 that it only raised $11 million at first. In addition, to reduce costs Vanguard also ceased to market its funds through brokers and instead offered them directly to investors, eliminating sales charges in 1977.

Vanguard's products were initially scorned by some rivals as being 'unAmerican' for not seeking to outperform. But the cheap funds gradually gained demand over the coming two decades, particularly as evidence mounted that almost no active fund managers can outperform the markets over extended periods.

In 1996, Bogle passed the reins of Vanguard to his hand-picked successor, John Brennan. In December 1999, he stepped down from the Vanguard board of directors and created the Bogle Financial Markets Resource Center, a Vanguard-supported venture. He also became an outspoken advocate for corporate governance and shareholder rights.

Bogle's chief legacy is that the products he pioneered and stumped for have reduced fund product costs across the mutual fund industry, and caused an estimated $4.6 trillion to be held in exchange-traded funds alone by the end of 2018. Vanguard had $4.4 trillion in assets at the end of last year, the vast majority in passive index funds and ETFs.

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