FULLERTON HIRES HEADS OF PRIVATE EQUITY AND SALES 

Singapore-based Fullerton Fund Management has set up a private equity team and appointed Tan Huck Khim to lead it, and has also brought in Mark Yuen as its new chief business development officer.

Reporting to chief investment officer Patrick Yeo, Tan will be supported by Kenneth Chia, who will join on January 7 as vice president of private equity. Chia was previously a senior manager at Asian insurance firm AIA.

Fullerton is looking to build the PE business methodically in phases, and the hires represent the first stage in this process, a company spokeswoman said. 

Tan previously worked in Credit Suisse's customised fund investment group business, which was divested to Grosvenor Capital Management in 2013. AsianInvestor could not ascertain if Tan worked with Grosvenor after the divestiture.

Fullerton declined to comment on whether the new PE team will manage money for Singaporean insurer NTUC Income, with which it has a strategic partnership. The fund house manages the insurer's public-market portfolio: S$23 billion out of total AUM of around $40 billion, as of December 2017. 

Mark Yuen

Meanwhile, Yuen will join Fullerton on January 8 and report to chief executive Jenny Sofian.

Yuen replaces Trevor Chudleigh, who departed in January last year. Sofian took care of the duties as business development head in the interim.

Yuen was previously head of institutional sales and client management at Eastspring Investments in Singapore, a position he left at the end of 2018.

Eastspring is now looking to fill a more senior role overseeing institutional sales and consultant relationships globally, a spokeswoman said.

SOFTBANK CREATES REAL ASSET INVESTMENT UNIT

Japanese conglomerate SoftBank is setting up a real asset investment unit and has hired Hiroki Kimoto as the new division's general manager, effective January 4.

Kimoto was previously a managing director in the Asian special situations group at Goldman Sachs, which declined to comment on his departure.

Reporting to chief strategy officer Katsunori Sago, Kimoto will be the first of a number of hires to the unit. 

The new unit will take stakes in real assets, such as real estate, infrastructure and commodities, which may have synergies across the firm's existing ecosystem of companies, AsianInvestor understands. SoftBank has until now invested primarily in shares. 

HK SFC TIPPED TO RAMP UP ENFORCEMENT AFTER ARDON MAROON FINE

Hong Kong’s securities regulator is likely to increase the pace and number of enforcement actions against asset managers in the coming year, said Philippa Allen, chief executive of consultancy ComplianceAsia.

“It [the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC)] now has its new Fund Manager Code of Conduct and will be keen to enforce it,” Hong Kong-based Allen told AsianInvestor. “They wanted to set an example to the industry by penalising Ardon Maroon [Fund Management].”

On December 29 the SFC said it had reprimanded Ardon Maroon and fined it HK$800,000 ($102,120) after the firm’s Asia Master Fund (AM Fund) executed a wash trade.

A wash trade is a cross trade that does not involve any change of beneficial ownership; it is presumed to be manipulative under the Securities and Futures Ordinance and is not in the best interests of market integrity.

The wash trade conducted by the AM Fund was also not in the best interests of the holders of the fund because by doing so, the fund incurred undue transaction costs of over HK$133,000.

Ardon Maroon instructed a brokerage to execute a cross trade for 15 million shares of a listed company on Hong Kong's stock exchange on August 8, 2014. The firm then instructed another brokerage to deliver the relevant shares to settle the wash trade.

By instructing the cross trade, Ardon Maroon failed to exercise due skill, care and diligence in managing the AM Fund.

In its announcement of the fine, the SFC said a clear message needed to be sent to fund managers that it would not tolerate conduct that is not in the best interests of the clients and market integrity.

The regulator also said it would have imposed a heavier fine, were it not for Ardon Maroon’s financial position.

VANGUARD RELOCATES INSTITUTIONAL HEAD

US fund house Vanguard has relocated Heston Goh from Singapore to Hong Kong to assume the role of executive director for Southeast Asia. 

Goh was previously head of institutional business for Southeast Asia and retains that role while taking on the new title as of January 1. Goh reports to Jackson Loi, Hong Kong-based managing director of Asia ex-China.

As Asia grows in importance as a driver of its international business, Vanguard is optimising the structure of its operations in the region, and Goh's change in title is part of that process, a company spokesman said, without clarifying further.

He declined to comment on whether Goh now has overall oversight of Southeast Asia. 

MANULIFE AM RAIDS MERCER FOR SALES MD  

Manulife Asset Management has hired Elvin Tharm in Hong Kong as managing director of Asia retirement strategy and business development. The Canadian firm declined to provide more details.

Tharm was previously Hong Kong head of business development and client relationship in the corporate sales team at consultancy Mercer, a role he left at the end of 2018. His duties had incorporated tailoring wealth solutions to address investment, pension and retirement needs, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Tharm had joined the company in April 2016 as Mercer Smart Savings business leader, before taking up his most recent role in January 2017.

Mercer declined to comment. 

UBS NAMES CO-HEADS OF WM FOR APAC

Amy Lo

UBS Wealth Management has appointed Amy Lo and August Hatecke as co-heads of wealth management for Asia Pacific, effective January 1.

 

Lo is based in Hong Kong and Hatecke in Singapore. They report to Zurich-based Martin Blessing and US-based Tom Naratil, who are co-presidents of UBS Global Wealth Management.


 

Lo and Hatecke succeed Edmund Koh, who was promoted to be UBS's president for Asia Pacific after Kathryn Shih retired last year.

August Hatacke

Lo was previously chairman and head of Greater China at UBS WM and head of Hong Kong, while Hatecke was head of UBS WM for Southeast Asia. Both retain those duties in the meantime.

BNP PARIBAS WM APPOINTS CHINA CO-HEADS 

BNP Paribas Wealth Management has appointed Philip Wong and Andrew Wong as co-heads for China, effective January 3.

They report to Andy Chai, head of Greater China markets, and are responsible for covering the high net worth, ultra-high net worth and mega-wealth segments in China. All three are based in Hong Kong.

The duo replaced Alfred Tsai, who joined Swiss private bank UBP as Hong Kong-based vice chair for Asia in November.

Philip Wong joined BNP Paribas WM from HSBC Private Bank, where his last position was believed to be head of China market. Andrew Wong joined from Credit Suisse and was most recently a market leader for China. 

Both HSBC and Credit Suisse did not immediately reply to queries about their departures.