FORMER MALAYSIAN PM NAJIB RESIGNS FROM KHAZANAH

Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional has announced that former prime minister Najib Razak has resigned as chairman of the board, effective May 31.

Two other members of the board, Seri Johari Abdul Ghani and Dr Mohammed Irwan Serigar Abdulllah, also resigned, on May 31 and May 23, respectively, Khazanah said in a statement.

The announcement comes in the wake of Najib’s stunning defeat in Malaysia's general elections earlier this month, heralding the shock return of 92-year-old former premier Mahathir to government.

FIRST STATE SUPER POACHES CEO FROM METLIFE

Australia’s First State Super has confirmed Deanne Stewart will be its next chief executive. She was previously CEO for Australia at US insurer Metlife, a position she left on May 25.

Stewart will succeed Michael Dwyer as CEO of the superannuation fund. Dwyer will retire and step down in November, a statement from the fund said.

Vince Watt, chief financial officer for Australia at Metlife, has assumed responsibility for the insurer's Australia business as acting CEO on an interim basis, a company spokeswoman said.
 
AXA APPOINTS COO FOR ASIA

French insurer Axa as appointed Myriam Moufakkir as chief operating officer for Asian markets, effective April 1.

Moufakkir reports to Gordon Watson, chief executive for Asia. Both of them are based in Hong Kong.

She was previously the regional chief information officer for life and health at Axa. That position has been made redundant and no one will be succeeding her in the previous role, a company spokeswoman said.

Moufakkir’s predecessor was Marc Blottiere, who took up a new role as group chief information officer on April 1 as well.

Axa did not immediately respond to AsianInvestor's query on who will look after Moufakkir's previous job duties.

INVESTEC AM APPOINTS INSTO SALES HEAD FOR SE ASIA

Investec Asset Management has appointed Diya Lowe as head of institutional sales for Southeast Asia, effective May 21.

She will be responsible for business development and client servicing across institutional clients in Southeast Asia, the company said in a statement.

Lowe, based in Singapore, was previously at Lazard Asset Management. According to her LinkedIn profile, her title was senior vice-president for business development and marketing. Lazard AM did not respond to requests for comment on her departure. 

In her new role, she reports to Kevin Kong, who was appointed head of the Singapore office on April 1, a spokeswoman for the fund house told AsianInvestor.

Lowe replaces Keeran Mane, who left Investec last year, the spokeswoman added.

Kong, meanwhile, replaces Tobie van Heerden, who has relocated to Investec AM’s Cape Town office in South Africa, the spokeswoman said.

AVANDA IM HIRES HEAD OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Avanda Investment Management appointed Faith Toh as head of business development and marketing, taking up her duties in May, according to Toh’s LinkedIn profile.

Based in Singapore, she was previously vice president of client portfolio management for hedge fund solutions at JP Morgan Asset Management, a post she left in March, according to LinkedIn.

Singapore-based Avanda IM was founded by three former executives of Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC: Ng Kok Song, (formerly CIO at GIC); Quah Wee Ghee (formerly president of GIC Asset Management) and Sung Cheng Chih (formerly chief risk officer at GIC).

A spokeswoman for JP Morgan Asset Management declined to comment on whether a replacement had been named for Toh but confirmed that she had left the firm.

A spokesperson for Avanda declined to comment, citing company policy.

WTW NAMES APAC HEAD OF INSURANCE CONSULTING AND TECHNOLOGY

Willis Towers Watson has promoted Ken Brown to lead its insurance consulting and technology (ICT) business in Asia Pacific.

The company has also promoted Choo Oi San to fill Brown’s previous role as divisional leader for ICT in South Asia and emerging markets. Choo was previously head of ICT for Southeast Asia.

Both Brown and Choo are based in Singapore and their appointments took effect on the same day, May 22.

Ken Brown reports to Alice Underwood, New York-based global head for ICT. Choo continues to report to Ken Brown.

Brown has replaced Richard Collis, who has left the company, a spokesman said. WTW declined to comment further on his departure.

CREDIT SUISSE BOLSTERS APAC PRIME SERVICES TEAM

Credit Suisse has made three senior appointments to its Asia-Pacific prime services team, according to an internal announcement seen by AsianInvestor. The team provides securities lending, cash management and other financial services to hedge funds and institutional clients.

James Scully will become managing director and head of prime product sales for Asia Pacific in August, based in Hong Kong and reporting to Ken Hon, head of prime products and trading for Asia-Pacific.

Prior to the appointment, Scully was head of prime brokerage sales and trading for Asia Pacific at French bank BNP Paribas. BNPP declined to comment on his exit date and whether a replacement had been named.

Kieran Murphy will join Credit Suisse as director and head of prime consulting for Asia Pacific in July. Based in Hong Kong, he will report to Simon Chow, head of prime services sales for Asia Pacific, and Raza Jafree, head of prime services for private banking sales in Asia-Pacific.

Most recently, Murphy was director of prime brokerage consulting at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The US bank did not respond to queries on his exit date and whether he had been replaced.

Robert Cheeseman has been appointed director and head of prime derivatives services for Asia Pacific, as of the end of May. He is based in Hong Kong and also reports to Hon.

Cheeseman was most recently head of Asia ex-Japan execution for futures and listed options in the institutional equity division at Morgan Stanley. The US bank declined to comment on his exit date and whether a replacement had been named.

Credit Suisse did not respond to queries on whether Cheeseman, Murphy or Scully were replacing anyone.

SSGA NAMES APAC HEAD OF INVESTMENT STRATEGY 

US fund house State Street Global Advisors has appointed Michele Barlow as Asia-Pacific head of investment strategy and research in its investment solutions group (ISG).

Barlow leads the ISG team in creating customised research and multi-asset investment solutions for regional investors, according to SSGA.

She started on May 21, an SSGA spokeswoman said, and she replaces Thomas Poullaouec, who left SSGA in June 2017 and joined T. Rowe Price Group as head of multi-asset solutions for Asia-Pacific in September 2017.

Barlow is based in Hong Kong, and reports to global head of strategy and research for ISG Ric Thomas.

Prior to the appointment, Barlow was taking a career break, the SSGA spokeswoman said. She was most recently managing director and head of Asia-Pacific credit research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch before leaving in September 2016, according to her LinkedIn profile.

COLLIERS APPOINTS JAPAN CAPITAL MARKETS HEAD

Canadian real estate services firm Colliers International has appointed Hideki Ota as head of capital markets and investment services (CMIS) in Japan.

Tokyo-based Ota oversees the CMIS business and real estate-related client strategies in Japan.

He started on June 1, a Colliers spokeswoman said, and he reports to managing director of Colliers Japan Katsuji Tokita.

The Japan CMIS business was started in September 2017, the spokeswoman said, and a team of investment brokers oversaw the business prior to Ota's appointment.

Ota was most recently regional director in the capital markets team at US real estate services firm JLL. JLL did not respond to queries on his exit date and whether a replacement had been found.