Nikko Asset Management inserts new management layer
Japan’s Nikko Asset Management has made four new appointments following a review of its global management structure; all will be effective as of early February.

Takuya Koyama has been named global head of sales, a newly created role, overseeing global institutional sales and ex-Japan retail sales.

He was most recently chief executive and founder of investment consultancy Linkage Partners, according to his LinkedIn profile. Linkage could not be reached for comment by press time. Koyama has also worked at Nomura Securities, Merrill Lynch Investment Managers and Citicorp Securities Japan.

Hideyuki Omokawa has become head of strategic product innovation, a newly established division set up to oversee product development globally.

Omokawa was previously president of FGI Capital Partners, a Japanese private equity group. Before that he held senior positions at Goldman Sachs Japan and Nikko Cordial Securities. Shigeki Aihara is now president at FGI.

In addition, Motonobu Hasegawa joined as global head of request for proposal (RFP), leading teams in Japan and overseas. Hasegawa previously ran the RFP team at UBS Global Asset Management Japan. The Swiss firm has not yet replaced Hasegawa, who left late last year.

The three new positions have been established to create a structure similar to other international asset managers, following expansion into other markets via acquisition in recent years (including the takeovers of DBS Asset Management and Treasury Asia in Singapore and Australia's Tyndall Investments).

The aim is to provide Nikko AM clients, regardless of location, with more coordinated access to its entire range of products.

Finally, the fund house promoted international ex-Japan CIO Wang Yu-Ming to global CIO. His new remit now includes Japan, one of the nine countries where Nikko has operations. Japan CIO Hiroki Tsujimura's role has not changed.

Deutsche Bank creates SWF coverage role
Deutsche Bank has created a new role for Ashok Pandit as head of sovereign wealth funds and institutional client coverage, according to a memo seen by FinanceAsia, a sister title to AsianInvestor.

This comes as increased interest from SWFs and other big institutional investors in a wider array of opportunities in Asia is shaking up how investment banks deploy their people.

From February 1, Pandit will advise Asian-headquartered sovereign wealth funds on global investment opportunities across equity and debt capital markets, and help other big institutions to invest into the region.

For the last few years, an increasingly important role has been played in capital market transactions by SWFs such as China Investment Corporation, Singapore’s GIC and Temasek, and Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional; large pension funds like Ontario Teachers and Malaysia’s Employees Provident Fund; and big institutions such as BlackRock.

They are increasingly also participating in private placements, where companies sell shares to a small group of around 10 investors, and making sizeable pre-IPO investments, such as Temasek’s purchase of Alibaba stock in 2011 and BlackRock’s investment in Formula One in 2012.

Pandit has led Deutsche’s Asia equity capital markets team for the past six years – first jointly and then on a sole basis. He is known to have been interested in moving into a more client-facing role for some time.

He will report to Asia co-heads of corporate finance Doug Morton and Venky Vishwanathan, and will continue to be based in Hong Kong.

Before joining Deutsche in 2005, Pandit led the equity capital markets team at ABN Amro Rothschild in Hong Kong.

Russell’s Persaud leaves for consultancy Stradegi
Trevor Persaud, who left his post as head of Asia consulting at Russell Investments late last year, has resurfaced as a managing partner at Stradegi, a management consultancy focused on the investment industry.

Set up a year ago, the Singapore-based company provides consulting across front-, middle- and back-office functions.

Russell could not be reached for comment.

Persaud joined the firm in Singapore in 2011 as practice leader for consulting and advisory services for Asean, Hong Kong, India and Taiwan. He succeeded Mahendran Nathan, who left his post as chief executive for Asean, Hong Kong, Taiwan and India in mid-2012.

Persaud previously spent three years at Prudential Asset Management as head of investment risk in Singapore. (The unit was rebranded as Eastspring Investments in early 2012).

Nomura appoints new rates strategist
Nomura has appointed Wee Khoon-Chong as head of rates strategy for Asia ex-Japan. He started in January and is based in Singapore.

The bank created the role as it seeks to bolster its foreign exchange and rates research business in the region. Rates strategists Vivek Rajpal and Prashant Pande report to Chong, who in turn reports to Rob Subbaraman, head of global markets research for Asia ex-Japan.

Chong joins from Société Générale, where he was an Asia rates strategist. Previously he was a rates trader at Jefferies and Dresdner Kleinwort, and a strategist at Bank of America and RBS.

Société Générale declined to comment on whether it has replaced or will replace Chong.

NBAD announces head of sales for global markets
National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) has appointed Anton Martin head of sales in its global markets unit. He started in his newly created role in January.

Based in Abu Dhabi, he leads marketing for institutional, corporate and credit products, as well as structuring and risk solutions. Martin reports to Mahmood Al Aradi, head of global markets.

Martin was most recently at ANZ Bank, where he was global head of banks and head of the financial institutions group in Europe, according to his LinkedIn profile. He also worked at Standard Chartered. ANZ did not provide any comment by press time.

Martin joins NBAD as the lender seeks to deepen its presence in the wholesale market – particularly in West and East Africa, where it anticipates trade and investment flows to increase.

NBAD has operations in China, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

New chairman for CIMB research group
Munir Majid has been named chairman of CIMB Asean Research Institute (Cari) in a two-year term starting on February 1.

He takes over from Glenn Muhammad Surya Yusuf, who will remain Cari’s board. Majid will continue his role as chairman of Bank Muamalat Malaysia, a position he has held since 2008.

Majid was the first executive chairman for Malaysia’s Securities Commission, which he helped found at the prompting of the Malaysian government in 1993.

In 2011, Malaysian bank CIMB Group formed Cari as a not-for-profit research unit to support economic integration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, as well as the Asean Economic Community.

Other people news in AsianInvestor this week:

UBS Global AM names new Japan chief

CIO exit seen unlikely to alter Safe allocations

The most (and least) stressful jobs in finance?

M&G hires ex-Goldman veteran for new role