Weekly roundup of people news, July 6

First State's Asia MD leaves; Aviva Investors hires Asia insto head; Investec AM's Asia adviser head leaving; AB building China team; Schroders hires China bond manager and more.
Weekly roundup of people news, July 6


Joe Fernandes, Singapore-based managing director for Asia at First State Investments (FSI), left the asset manager in May, AsianInvestor can reveal.

Hong Kong-based Michael Stapleton, managing partner for First State Stewart Asia. has taken over North and Southeast Asia distribution as well as business management responsibilities for Asia, a spokesman told AsianInvestor.

Joe Fernandes

FSI is the investment management business of Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA). It is known as Colonial First State Global Asset Management (CFSGAM) in Australia.

The spokesman also said Fernandes's departure was not due to the current restructuring at parent company CBA.

In July 2015, FSI divided the First State Stewart team into First State First State Stewart Asia (based in Hong Kong) and Stewart Investors  (based in Edinburgh).

CBA has also been seeking to pare operations across various businesses as it seeks to focus on its core banking operations.

In June, it announced that it would demerge its wealth management and mortgage broking business. It has also said it is looking at spinning off CFSGAM.


Aviva Investors, the asset management arm of UK insurer Aviva, has appointed Tom Clapham to the newly created role of Asia head of institutional sales, effective July 4.


He most recently oversaw Asia coverage of sovereign wealth funds, central banks and consultant relations at Axa Investment Managers but left in late 2017. Before that he had worked for Macquarie Bank, Deutsche Bank and Mercer Investment Consulting.

Axa IM did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

Based in Singapore, Clapham now reports to Scott Callander, head of client solutions for Asia Pacific and the Middle East at Aviva Investors, which has $482 billion under management.

Prior to Clapham’s appointment, Callander had overseen institutional sales in Asia as part of his remit.

The institutional segment is a key growth area for Aviva Investors in Asia, but it is also expanding its client focus to wholesale distributors such as private banks, a spokeswoman told AsianInvestor.

Beonca Yip, head of the adviser business for Asia at Investec Asset Management, is leaving the firm in August, a spokeswoman confirmed to AsianInvestor.

She said that Yip's responsibilities will be handled by the existing team. Regarding Yip's replacement, the spokeswoman said the asset manager would "make an announcement in due course".

Yip joined Investec AM in October 2013. She has also worked with Eastspring Investments.

*This story has been updated wtih additional information from Investec AM.


AllianceBernstein has appointed Zhu Liang as the Shanghai-based chief investment officer (CIO) for its new investment team in China.

Zhu will move to Shanghai in mid-July and report to Stuart Rae, Hong Kong-based CIO for Asia Pacific value equities, a company spokesman said.

Zhu is currently senior quantitative research analyst for value equities at AB, based in Hong Kong.

In another development, Alex Qian started his role as Shanghai-based chief executive at AB on June 25. He reports to Ajai Kaul, Singapore-based Asia Pacific ex-Japan CEO. 

In addition, Aileen Song has been appointed as head of sales and marketing for China and reports to Alex Qian.

According to her LinkedIn profile, she is a Hong Kong-based managing director for China business.

The spokesman declined to comment on Zhu's and Song's former job titles at AB or who will succeed them in their previous roles.

He also declined to reveal Qian’s former employer and the size of the China team.


Nigel Tan has joined Singapore-based Lion Global Investors as director for Asian equities in June, according to his Linkedin page.

He was previously senior portfolio manager with Havenport Asset Management, also based in Singapore.

Lion Global declined to comment on the hire.

Havenport Asset Management did not respond to queries from AsianInvestor on when Tan had left or if a replacement had been appointed.


Schroders has appointed Shan Kun as fund manager for Asian fixed income.

Shan Kun

Shan started the role on July 2 and is based in Shanghai. He reports functionally to Julia Ho, Singapore-based head of Asian macro for Asian fixed income, and locally to Elaine Zhang, Beijing-based general manager.

Shan is a member of the investment management wholly foreign-owned enterprise (IM WFOE) of Schroders in mainland China and will focus on onshore Chinese government and policy bank bonds.

It is a newly created role after Schroders obtained the IM WFOE license in June 2017, a company spokeswoman said.

Kun joins Schroders from BNP Paribas, where he was head of local markets strategy for China, a position he left in late June. BNP Paribas is understood to announce a replacement in due course.


Yong Hua Chua, a portfolio management director for global real estate with UBS Asset Management, left on June 23, AsianInvestor understands.

She had been with the firm since August 2015, according to her LinkedIn profile.

The Swiss asset manager is understood to be searching for a replacement for Yong, who was based in Hong Kong.


Swiss asset manager GAM Investments has named Markus Heider as investment manager on their emerging markets fixed income team.

Effective July 2, London-based Heider reports to investment director Paul McNamara.

The hire represents an expansion of GAM’s emerging market fixed income team, which now consists of five members, a GAM spokeswoman said.

Heider was most recently global head of inflation research at German bank Deutsche Bank. Deutsche declined to comment on his exit date or whether a replacement has been announced yet.


UK private markets investor Pantheon Group has appointed Akitoshi Yamada (pictured left) as managing director and head of Japan.

Effective July 2, Yamada (pictured left) reports to Alex Wilmerding, a partner based in the Hong Kong office, a Pantheon spokeswoman said.

Yamada's hire preceded the opening of its Tokyo office on July 5, the spokeswoman added.

He was most recently deputy general manager at Japanese insurer Nippon Life, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Nippon Life did not respond to queries on his exit date and whether a replacement has been announced yet.

The Tokyo office is Pantheon’s seventh international office, joining locations in Hong Kong, San Francisco, New York, Bogota and Seoul, along with the headquarters in London.

Ryo Okazaki (pictured left) was also named as vice president in the client service team. Okazaki started on July 5, and he reports to Yamada, the Pantheon spokeswoman said. 

He was most recently a manager at Mitsubishi Corporation Asset Management, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Mitsubishi did not respond to queries on Okazaki's exit date and whether a replacement has been announced.

Other people news reported by AsianInvestor last week:

Prudential Singapore appoints new product head


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