Weekly roundup of people news, Jan 5

Franklin Templeton shuffles sales heads; Manulife AM's new Singapore equities head; Franklin Real Asset Advisors names new head of Asia; Former Value Partners MD joins Pins AM and more.
Weekly roundup of people news, Jan 5


Franklin Templeton has hired Terence Bong (pictured) from Nikko Asset Management as its new Southeast Asia head of wholesale amid a reshuffle that sees two other senior salespeople promoted to new roles.

Bong took over his duties from Isabella Chan, who assumed an expanded role in December as Asia-Pacific head of global financial institutions and Greater China head of retail business. She is based in Hong Kong, having previously split her time between Hong Kong and Singapore as head of retail business for Greater China and Southeast Asia.

Bong reports to Dora Seow, whose role has expanded to Southeast Asia head of distribution for institutional and wholesale business. She had previously run the institutional business for the same region. Based in Singapore, Seow reports to Adam Quaife, head of Southeast Asia.

Before joining Franklin Templeton, Bong was Asia head of intermediary business development at Nikko AM. Prior to that, he spent 10 years at Schroders, most recently head of private banks distribution for Singapore and Hong Kong.

The part of Chan’s role covering global financial institutions is newly created, said a spokeswoman by email. It will allow her to “continue to remain in close contact and effectively manage global relationships with our key distribution partners”.

The spokeswoman declined to specify the size of the Asia distribution team.


Manulife Asset Management (AM) has appointed Chan Hock Fai as head of Singapore equities, effective January 2.

Chan’s primary responsibilities are to lead all of the Singapore-based equity strategies and oversee the local team of equities investment professionals.

He replaces Lisa Yong, who left the company in November 2017. AsianInvestor was unable to ascertain Yong's next move before press time.

Chan reports functionally to Ronald Chan, chief investment officer for Asia ex-Japan equities, and locally to Wendy Lim, chief executive of Manulife AM Singapore.

Chan was previously at Amundi Asset Management in Singapore as investment director managing Singapore, Asia Pacific ex-Japan and global multi-asset portfolios.

AsianInvestor reported in November last year that Amundi was laying off the bulk of its investment and operations staff across Hong Kong and Singapore as part of a company-wide restructuring after its merger with Pioneer Investments.

Amundi declined to comment on the departure.

The Singapore equities team at Manulife AM consists of four members, including Chan.


Franklin Real Asset Advisors appointed Chong Woon Pin (pictured) as managing director for Asia Pacific in September 2017, parent company Franklin Templeton Investments said in a release this week. Chong replaces Glenn Uren, who retired on May 1, 2017.

Singapore-based Chong leads FRAA’s Asia-Pacific team in its research, analysis and execution of private real estate investments. He is also responsible for business development and marketing of property investment products and strategies, with a focus on Asian markets.

Before joining Franklin Templeton, Chong was managing director in Singapore at Singapore-based asset manager Savant Global Capital. He was also Asia managing director for Australian investment manager Centuria Capital, where he set up and ran the real estate platform.

Chong has also held senior roles at Lend Lease Investment Management and Colliers International.


A former senior executive at Hong Kong fund house Value Partners has become the chief executive of newcomer Pins Asset Management.

William Chow came in as the first CEO at the newly created asset management arm of Pins Capital Group in August last year. Pins Asset Management provides quantitative strategy, private equity and venture capital with a particular interest in the technology sector, Chow told AsianInvestor.

The company has about eight staff and all of them report to Chow, he said. He declined to disclose the assets under management of the new firm.

Chow was formerly head of exchange-traded funds at Value Partners, a position he left in February 2017 amid a management reshuffle at the company.


Law firm Deacons has promoted a member of its financial services practices group.

Effective January 1. Fiona Fong was promoted from senior associate to partner. Her reporting line is still the same and she reports to Taylor Hui, partner and leader of the China team of financial services practice.

Her job duties are in large part unchanged, but she will receive "additional mentoring" by partners in the financial services practices group, a spokeswoman said, without further elaboration.

Fong specialises in the formation of private funds, ranging from offshore hedge funds to QFII or RQFII funds, as well as private equity funds, credit financing funds. Her expertise includes advising on fund structures and discretionary account agreements.


Bank of China (Hong Kong) has appointed a new chief executive as the former one resigns.

Effective January 1, Gao Yingxin became the chief executive and vice chairman at the Hong Kong arm of the fourth biggest bank in China. He was previously an executive director at the bank.

Gao replaced Yue Yi, who according to a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange, resigned on age grounds and confirmed that he had no disagreement with the board.


Singaporean business group Golden Equator has taken on venture capitalist Taizo Son as special adviser as part of its partnership with Son’s start-up incubator Mistletoe.

Son’s role with the business group started in January, a company spokesman said, and he will advise on areas including promoting innovation, ease of doing business, education, impact investments, and encouraging collaboration between individuals, businesses, government agencies, and universities to build up a Singapore-based start-up ecosystem.

He will be based in Singapore, the spokesman confirmed, and he continues his duties at Mistletoe, which he founded.

Son’s advisor role is with Golden Equator as a group, the spokesman added, which includes businesses that cover fund management, family office and wealth management, consulting, and financial technology.

Other people news reported by AsianInvestor in the past week:

Mercer poaches Janet Li from rival Willis Towers Watson

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