UBS WM hires regional head of asset allocation
Switzerland’s UBS Wealth Management has appointed Adrian Zuercher in the newly created role of head of asset allocation for Asia Pacific. He joined on June 3 from Credit Suisse.

Zuercher is responsible for setting up a tactical asset allocation process in the region using the same quantitative and qualitative indicators with a six-month horizon as the firm does globally, an internal memo said.

He reports to Tan Min-Lan, head of wealth management for Asia Pacific, and Mark Anderson, co-head of global asset allocation.

Zuercher was most recently a strategist in Credit Suisse Private Banking and Asset Management’s financial markets analysis unit in Hong Kong. It is thought that he has not been replaced.

Credit Suisse declined to comment on whether a replacement for Zuercher had been or would be found.

UBS WM earlier this month promoted Paul Stefansson to Asia-Pacific head of investment fund distribution, effective July 1. This will incorporate his previous post as head of investment fund and hedge fund distribution for Hong Kong and Singapore.

Singapore-based Stefansson will report to Vittorio Schiro, Asia-Pacific head of investment products and services.

The move comes as Rene Buehlmann takes up the role of head of Asia Pacific at UBS Global Asset Management, as reported. He was previously global head of investment funds based in Hong Kong, and a new global head will be announced in due course.

Future Fund promotes CIO David Neal to MD
Australia’s Future Fund has promoted David Neal from chief investment officer to managing director. He will take up the new role on August 4, until when Paul Mann, chief financial officer will continue as acting MD.

Neal has served as CIO since July 2007. The A$97 billion ($91 billion) sovereign wealth fund has started the search for a replacement for him.

Before joining Future Fund, Neal was head of investment consulting at Watson Wyatt Australia.

Aberdeen AM replaces CEO in Thailand
UK fund house Aberdeen Asset Management has named Korawut Leenabanchong as its chief executive for Thailand.

He joins from Singapore-based UOB Asset Management's Thai business, where he had been chief investment officer for the past decade. UOB AM in May last year bought ING Funds Thailand.

Reporting to Ian MacDonald, director in Singapore, he will be responsible for the company’s strategy and business development and work with Adithep Vanabriksha, Aberdeen AM Thailand’s chief investment officer.

Leenabanchong replaces Sujaree Junsawang, who had been with the company for more than 12 years. 

Aberdeen, which has had a presence in Thailand for more than 12 years, manages assets of Thai baht 41.2 billion ($1.3 billion).

UOB declined to comment on whether a replacement had been or would be found for Leenabanchong.

Malaysian regulator appoints funds chairman
Malaysia's Securities Commission has appointed Siti Hadzar Mohd Ismail as chairman of the Federation of Investment Managers Malaysia (Fimm), effective June 24.

He will occupy the post for two years. Siti Hadzar, who has since 2011 been a director at Fimm, will take over from Abdul Kadir Kassim. 

Hadzar was previously a deputy secretary general at the Ministry of Finance and is currently chairman of the Malaysian Technology Development Corporation, as well as an adviser to the deputy chairman of sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional. 

Fimm was established in 1993 to help develop the country’s investment management industry.

Standard Life Investments names real equities analyst
Scottish firm Standard Life Investments (SLI) has appointed Toshio Tangiku as its real estate equities analyst for Asia Pacific, a newly created role.

He joins from LaSalle Investment Management in Hong Kong, where he had been land securities analyst for Japan since 2008.

Based in Hong Kong, Tangiku reports to Svitlana Gubriy, Edinburgh-based global fund manager for the firm’s listed real estate funds.

As an investment research analyst, he will be researching investment ideas on Asia Pacific listed real estate companies and real estate investment trusts.

The move comes as the fund house expands its coverage of real estate in Asia Pacific. It is looking for greater exposure to Japan through both real estate securities and direct real estate acquisitions, said David Peng, SLI's head of Asia.

Tangiku’s addition takes the size of SLI's Hong Kong team to 17. The Hong Kong office includes two analysts covering Asia-Pacific property securities markets and one portfolio manager covering direct real estate investments.

Tangiku’s appointment followed the promotion of Tasmin Balfour to chief operations officer for Asia in February.

Victoire Asia appoints third partner
Investment firm Victoire Asia has appointed Winnie Chan as a third partner and senior analyst. Chan, who joins from Legg Mason, will start next week at the Hong Kong-based joint venture with Victoire Brasil Investimentos (VBI), an $878 million Sao Paulo-based equity investment firm.

She will be an equity owner in the business, which was established in September last year, with her own capital invested in the funds run by the firm. The other two partners are founder Aquico Wen, and Young Chow, who is also a senior analyst. All three partners are former employees of Legg Mason. 

Chan will focus on financials, real estate and the consumer sector.

She was a portfolio manager and director at Legg Mason, where she managed Hong Kong and China equity funds covering the property, telecom, health-care and transportation sectors.

She had also worked at various banks, including UBS's investment banking division where she structured financing for companies, and Goldman Sachs as a financial analyst in its investment banking division. 

Troutman Sanders expands Shanghai office
Law firm Troutman Sanders has named Ding Chengfei as a partner in the firm’s corporate practice in Shanghai office.

He joins from rival firm Baker & McKenzie in Beijing, where he focused on capital markets transactions, cross-border investments, private equity and M&A.

He was previously in-house counsel at US-based Principal Financial Group, where he was responsible for insurance, pension, asset management and securities business.

Withers appoints new partner
Law firm Withers has promoted Timothy Burns as a partner to its tax and wealth planning team in Hong Kong. Burns will focus on US and international tax planning for trusts, individuals, partnerships and corporations.

Aviva names global head of life insurance
UK insurer Aviva has appointed Chris Wei as chief executive and chairman for Asia of global life insurance, effective October, depending on regulatory approval.

Wei will lead Aviva's life insurance businesses across the group. Key strategic priorities for him will be to manage Aviva's UK life insurance business, the group’s cash cow, and also develop its Asian business.

He joins from Singapore's Great Eastern Holdings, the Asian life insurer, which he joined in 2011. He is scheduled to leave that firm in September.

Other people news reported on AsianInvestor this week:

Northern Trust creates China role in mainland push

QBE to enter alternatives, boost risk assets

Ex-GSAM exec joins Asia hedge fund start-up