Robeco names Asia and Middle East distribution head
Dutch fund house Robeco has appointed Graham Elliot as head of Asia-Pacific and Middle East distribution, a newly created role. He is currently country manager and head of sales for the Middle East and Africa retains that post on an interim basis.

Currently based in Dubai, he will relocate to Hong Kong to cover institutional and wholesale distribution. He will report to chief executive Gilbert Van Hassel and Ingo Ahrens, global head of sales and marketing.

Elliot will also be responsible for the day-to-day management of Robeco in the region, alongside Arnout van Rijn, Asia-Pacific chief investment officer, and Jorg Sunderman, Asia-Pacific chief operations officer.

Robeco did not clarify who had previously overseen distribution in Asia Pacific before Elliott’s appointment.  

Presumably it came under the remit of Tony Edwards, who had been Asia-Pacific CEO until his surprise resignation in October 2015. He has not been directly replaced.

Prior to joining Robeco in 2011, Elliot was Middle East chief executive of BNP Paribas Investment Partners and had also worked at BlackRock and Barclays Global Investors. 

PwC launches Asian asset and wealth management centre
PwC is in hiring mode for its new Asset & Wealth Management Asia-Pacific Research Centre in Singapore.

The consulting firm told AsianInvestor it planned to recruit seven staff by the end of this year and have up to 15 in place by the end of 2020. The team will comprise research analysts, economists and writers.

The aim is to make chiefly external hires, as the overarching intent is to develop local talent to cover Asia-Pacific markets, said Justin Ong (pictured left), Asia-Pacific asset and wealth management (AWM) leader, based in Singapore.

The team will be led locally by Armin Choksey, unit leader of the Asian investment fund centre, and will also report to Ong.

The centre aims to help asset and wealth management firms identify market opportunities, assess their competitiveness, improve their visibility in the market and monitor key trends. 

The project is an extension of PwC’s global research centre in Luxembourg and will utilise its capabilities and experience.

Aberdeen’s Asia bond head to join Challenger
Victor Rodriguez, head of Asia-Pacific fixed income at Aberdeen Asset Management, is to leave the UK firm for Australian fund house Challenger.

He will move from Singapore to start as Challenger’s head of fixed income in Sydney on April 18. There Rodriguez (pictured right) will manage a fixed income portfolio for Challenger Life Company and third-party investors.

He is understood to be replacing Bob Sahota, who left Challenger in November to become head of direct lending at Sydney-based Kapstream Capital, according to his LinkedIn page.

Aberdeen will not directly replace him, but said there would be minimal change to the Asian and Australian fixed income portfolio management teams.

Rodriguez was a named manager on the firm’s Asia bond fund and the Australia-domiciled diversified fixed income fund. Adam McCabe, Kenneth Akintewe, Thomas Drissner and Gareth Nicholson continue to manage the Aberdeen Asia Bond fund.

Rodriguez’s team manages $9 billion in assets, out of $121 billion in global fixed income investments and $405 billion in total group AUM.

Rodriguez has held his current role at Aberdeen since January 2014, when he was promoted from Australia head of fixed income to replace Anthony Michael. He had joined Aberdeen in 2009 as part of the acquisition of Credit Suisse Asset Management, where he had worked since 1995.

Manulife AM replaces Thailand CEO
Manulife Asset Management has appointed Asia funds industry veteran Michael Reed as Thailand chief executive, effective January 17.

Reed (pictured left) replaces Tor Indhavivadhana, who has resigned, said a spokesman. Indhavivadhana had been CEO since December 2011, according to his LinkedIn page.

Based in Bangkok, Reed reports to Gianni Fiacco, Asia chief operating officer of wealth and asset management, and Michael Parker, president and general manager of Manulife Insurance Thailand.

Reed’s most recent prior role was head of Korea at Fidelity International, where he spent six years until October 2015, according to his LinkedIn page. Manulife AM did not respond to a query about what Reed had done since leaving Fidelity.

Before joining Fidelity, he held senior positions at various financial services firms, including Asia chief executive of Standard Life Investments and Korea CEO of Franklin Templeton Investments. 

VP Bank appoints new Singapore chief  
VP Bank, a Liechtenstein-based private bank, has appointed Bruno Morel as Singapore chief executive, effective from March 2017.

He will replace Rajagopal Govindarajoo, formerly managing director of VP Bank in Singapore. Govindarajoo will continue to support the implementation of VP Bank’s Asia strategy, a spokesperson said, without elaborating in what capacity he would do so.

Morel will report to Christoph Mauchle, head of client business at VP Bank Group.

Morel was previously head of private banking in Singapore at French bank CIC, which did not respond to a query about his replacement by press time.

Prior to that, Morel had worked as Asia head of treasury and structured products at ABN Amro.

US PE firm Baird Capital adds Asia partner
Chicago-based Baird Capital, the direct private investment arm of Robert W. Baird & Co, has hired Andy Tse as a partner in its Shanghai office. He will help lead investments in Asia, with a focus on the technology and services sector.

Tse started in the new role on January 1, having moved from Hong Kong-based private equity manager AIF Capital. His left AIF at the end of July and remained as a consultant to the firm until the end of December.

He joins Brett Tucker and Huaming Gu in Shanghai, the other partners on Baird's China investment team. All three report to Gordon Pan, president of Baird Capital, which manages $3.1 billion and has invested around $65 million in 12 companies in Asia, all in Chinese assets.

Tse has 20 years of private equity experience. Before AIF he worked for Hong Kong-based property and infrastructure investor Hopewell Holdings and Consolidated Electric Power Asia.

Other people news reported by AsianInvestor in the past week: