Weekly roundup of people news, July 5

Former Harvest Global CEO ventures into Abu Dhabi; Korea's military pension gets new co-CIO: Franklin Templeton reshuffles APAC portfolio management; WTW makes leadership change in Australia, NZ; Stonepeak gets Japan chairman; and more.
Weekly roundup of people news, July 5


Thomas Kwan

Thomas Kwan, former Hong Kong-based chief executive officer of Harvest Global Investments, established a new advisory and private equity business in Abu Dhabi.

He is now CEO of Omas Capital Advisors, a business that operates in both Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong to help companies expand into the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region in industries such as smart cities, carbon reduction, mobility, new building materials, healthcare, and sustainable farming, he announced on LinkedIn on July 2.

The firm is chaired by Obaid Al Ketbi, a former diplomat and a major general in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Kwan left Harvest Global Investments, the Hong Kong unit of China’s major asset manager Harvest Fund Management, in January this year. AsianInvestor reported his departure.

He was with Harvest Global for 12 years and served in leadership roles including chief investment officer and head of fixed income. He also held senior fixed income investment roles at Baring Asset Management, ICBC-Credit Suisse, and Prudential Asset Management across Hong Kong, Beijing, and Singapore.


Korea’s Military Mutual Aid Association (MMAA) appointed Park Hwa-jae as the new chief investment officer (CIO) for the fund's financial investment division.

On June 27, the retirement fund for military personnel determined the nomination of the new CIO, who will oversee the fund’s equity and debt investments in private and public markets, local media wrote on June 18.

Park replaces Lee Sang-hee who took office in May 2021.

MMAA has two separate CIOs for its financial investment and construction divisions. The financial investment chief represents the retirement fund’s overall asset management strategy.

The construction division CIO is Kim Yong-seok, who became chief in August 2023. He oversees real estate and infrastructure investments.

Park will serve for three years starting in July with an option for a one-year extension. He spent most of his career at Woori Financial Group. His most recent role was president of the business support division.


Oliver Lee

Franklin Templeton appointed Oliver Lee as senior vice president, senior client portfolio manager at Templeton Global Investments (TGI), effective June 18, and William Chang to the newly-created role of senior client portfolio manager at Franklin Equity Group, effective August 1.

TGI represents the combined businesses of Franklin Templeton emerging markets equity and Templeton global equity group under a single umbrella.

Lee is based in Singapore and reports to Anu Sawhney, managing director and head of business development at TGI.

Prior to Franklin Templeton, Lee most recently served as a client portfolio manager representing Japan equities at Eastspring Investments. He also held various roles at Jupiter Asset Management, Schroders, Sloane Robinson, Goldman Sachs and UBS.

William Chang

Lee takes over from William Chang, who will transition into the role of senior client portfolio manager, Franklin Equity Group.

Chang will continue to be based in Singapore. He will report to Evan Davis, head of business development at the Franklin Equity Group.

In this newly created role, Chang will lead business development efforts in the Asia-Pacific region to expand upon the success of the Franklin Equity Group’s public and private growth, innovation, and sector-focused investment and portfolio solutions.

Immediately before joining Franklin Templeton in 2021, Chang was a vice president with the client solutions team at Goldman Sachs Asset Management in New York.


James Baum

WTW named James Baum as WTW head of Australia and New Zealand, and head of corporate risk and broking (CRB) Australia and New Zealand, effective July 15.

These responsibilities were previously covered by Simon Weaver, who will continue to serve as WTW head of Asia Pacific and head of CRB for Asia Pacific.

Baum will relocate to Sydney from London. He will report to Pamela Thomson-Hall, head of international and head of risk and broking international at WTW, the firm told AsianInvestor.

Baum was most recently with Aon for 18 years, where he held various leadership roles, including global head of wholesale & specialty broking, and chief executive officer of Australia. Prior to Aon, he spent over 12 years at Marsh and Sedgwick.


Yuichi Jimbo

US-based infrastructure and real assets manager Stonepeak appointed Yuichi Jimbo as chairman, Japan, effective July 1.

In this newly created role, Jimbo will be based in Tokyo and will help to support the execution of Stonepeak’s investment strategies and expansion in Japan in addition to the firm’s broader business in Asia Pacific.

He reports to Hajir Naghdy, senior managing director and head of Asia and Middle East at Stonepeak.

Stonepeak has had a presence in Tokyo since 2021, AsianInvestor understands. Since then, the asset manager has built relationships with investor partners in Japan and have invested in businesses operating in the Japanese market.

Jimbo most recently worked at Bank of America (BofA), serving as chairman of investment banking and vice chairman at BofA Securities Japan. BofA did not respond to AsianInvestor’s request for comments on his departure and replacement at the time of publication.

Prior to BofA, Jimbo held Japan roles at Citigroup, JP Morgan, and Bank of Tokyo (currently MUFG Bank).


Insurance broker BMS has appointed Ryo Iizuka as a director of the private equity, mergers and acquisitions, and tax in Japan, effective July.

Based in Tokyo, Iizuka will report to Tim Hewitt, head of BMS Japan.

He joins from Deloitte where he was a senior manager focusing on cross-border mergers and acquisitions. He previously held roles at HSBC and Accenture.

BMS’s Japan office has been operational since mid-2023, and Iizuka’s appointment rounds out the local team of three, also including associate Kaori Iwai, with legal, investment banking, consulting, and insurance backgrounds.

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