Weekly roundup of people news, July 3

Malaysia's PNB appoints new CEO; Hong Kong's SFC moves office; Ping An Insurance adds third co-CEO; Principal Global Investors adds new head of North Asia institutional sales; JP Morgan AM names retail distribution head for Hong Kong; Sanne appoints business development heads in Asia; SC Capital hires head of investor relations.
Weekly roundup of people news, July 3


Malaysian state-linked fund manager Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) has appointed Zulqarnain Onn president and group chief executive following the abrupt resignation of his predecessor Jalil Rasheed on June 15.

Zulqarnain Onn

Zulqarnain, who started in his new role on July 1, was previously one of two deputy managing directors at Kuala Lumpur-based sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional, said PNB in a release.

At Khazanah he was in charge of the strategic fund and of managing strategic holdings in government-linked companies, and he headed the corporate strategy team. 

Zulqarnain takes the helm at a time of major change for PNB, when the institution is working to revamp its governance structure and strategy and treble its overseas allocation.

He was tipped as a candidate for CEO in mid-June, just after Rasheed stepped down citing harassment after just nine months with PNB.


The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) will relocate its office from Central to Quarry Bay in Hong Kong next Monday (July 6).

The SFC office in Cheung Kong Center will remain open until today (July 3) and external parties should reach out to the regulator at One Island East starting July 6.

SFC had 935 staff as of March 31 last year.


Ping An Insurance has appointed Yao Bo as its co-chief executive while company founder Ma Mingzhe has resigned as company CEO.

Yao Bo

Including Xie Yonglin and Jessica Tan, there will now be three co-CEOs at Ping An. Xie is also the president of Ping An.

Ma will continue to serve as the chairman of the board. The core leadership team will be composed of the three co-CEOs led by Ma. Ping An will not appoint a CEO, a company spokeswoman said.

Yao has been chief financial officer at Ping An since 2008 and he will continue to serve as CFO in his new capacity, she said.


Principal Global Investors has appointed Lesley Lo as head of institutional sales for North Asia, effective August 27.

Based in Hong Kong, she will take on an expanded role following Helen Chang's departure from the role of head of institutional sales for Greater China. Chang left the firm earlier this year, after her regulatory licence with Principal GI ended on November 29

The firm declined to comment on Lo's reporting line.

Lo joined from MetLife Investment Management, where she was institutional sales director for Asia ex-Japan. The US firm declined to comment on when she would depart or whether a replacement had been identified. 


JP Morgan Asset Management has appointed Philip Fok as head of retail distribution for Hong Kong in the firm’s intermediary business, effective today (July 3).

Philip Fok

He reports to Elisa Ng, Hong Kong-based head of China and Hong Kong funds. Fok is responsible for expanding the firm’s wholesale fund distribution business primarily with retail banks, insurance companies and platforms in Hong Kong. 

Fok replaces Marcella Pun, who joined Fidelity as head of Hong Kong wholesale business in February.

Fok was previously the head of wholesale distribution for Hong Kong at Robeco, a position he left on April 14. Robeco has started the process of finding a replacement, a company spokeswoman said.

Separately, Stephanie Hak has joined JP Morgan AM as a client adviser to help manage private bank relationships and provide investment solutions. Based in Hong Kong, Hak reports to David Chang, head of private bank distribution for Hong Kong intermediary business.

Hak was previously a Hong Kong-based multi-asset product specialist at HSBC Global Asset Management, according to her LinkedIn profile. HSBC GAM declined to comment on her departure.


Catherine Law

Alternative asset and corporate services provider Sanne has appointed Catherine Law as its new head of business development for Asia ex-Japan and announced Sakuya Tajima as head of business development for Japan. 

The appointments mark an effort by the company to expand its business to new clients across the region.

Law began in the Hong Kong-based, newly created role on July 1. She reports to Qian Jing Jing, managing director for Asia Pacific. Before joining Sanne, Law had worked as head of Asia business development for Apex, where she had been since October 2018.

A spokeswoman for Sanne said the company was also planning to appoint a head of corporate services for Singapore, in addition to Law’s appointment.

Apex declined to comment on how it would replace Law or cover her position’s responsibilities.

Sakuya Tajima

In Japan, Sanne has hired Tajima into a similar role. Based in Tokyo, he will work closely with Mark Bennett, country head, and is tasked with driving new and existing business development in Japan.

Tajima boasts over 36 years of industry experience, and had previously worked at State Street in Japan since 1997 in a series of client-facing roles with asset owners and asset managers, most recently in alternative sector sales, according to his LinkedIn profile.

A State Street spokeswoman said: “Sakuya Tajima left State Street last month. Ryo Nakamura, head of sector solutions [for] Japan, is covering the responsibilities [of Tajima].”   


Singapore-based SC Capital Partners has appointed Chris van Beek as its new head of investor relations, effective April 22. He replaces Ho Li-Wen, who left the company in the first quarter of this year. 

Based in Singapore, van Beek is responsible for investor relations, marketing and fundraising activities and reports to SC chairman Suchad Chiaranussati. Van Beek joined from Melbourne-headquartered MaxCap Group, where he was distribution director.

AsianInvestor understands that van Beek was based in Sydney, and was responsible for global fundraising. He left the firm on April 21.

MaxCap declined to comment on his departure.

People news reported by AsianInvestor in the past week:

FWD adds deputy CIO as assets soar to $50 billion

HSBC Global AM gets new head of China and HK equities

Robeco hires heads for Asia insurance and Korea sales

Article updated to reflect State Street spokeswoman response.

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