Hamilton Lane expands team on separate account growth
Hamilton Lane, a US private equity firm with $186 billion under management, has made four promotions and two hires to support its growth in Asia, in particular that of its separate account business.

And more are set to join, as the manager has just doubled its office space in its regional headquarters in Hong Kong, said Juan Delgado-Moreira, head of international, based in the city.

Tomoko Kitao has been named head of Japan, replacing Hiroo Nozawa, who has retired after seven years with the firm in Tokyo but remains a senior adviser. Kitao joined the firm in 2012 as a client relationship manager, having served in various management roles at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ’s international credit and structured finance divisions.

In addition, Hamilton Lane has hired Masayoshi Yazawa as a senior adviser to lead business development efforts in Japan. Before joining the firm, Masayoshi was head of foreign securities sales at Itau Asia Securities.

Meanwhile, Steve (Sungji) An has joined the business development team in Hong Kong. An joins the firm from US fund house Neuberger Berman in Korea, where he worked in institutional business development and servicing. Neuberger declined to say whether he has been or would be replaced.

Josh Jacob, a nine-year veteran of Hamilton Lane, assumes the title of principal and will oversee the client services team in Hong Kong. Those duties previously came under Delgado-Moreira’s remit.
Brenda Lau has been promoted to the role of vice president and is now responsible for all aspects of client relations across Asia ex-Japan. Collwyn Tan has been promoted to senior associate on the co-investment team.

The promotions were decided on in the first quarter but implemented in the second. The latest of the new joiners was An, who started this month, while Yazawa came on board in April.

Hamilton Lane has also just signed a lease to double the floor space in Hong Kong. With 17 people now on board, it had previously had space for around 20 people, but now the capacity is around 30.

It’s unlikely it will fill the seats in the next 18 months, Delgado-Moreira told AsianInvestor. “We take time on hiring and are careful how we grow”, he noted. But in the past three years the firm has more than doubled the team. “Keeping up with that sort of pace should do the trick.”

Hamilton Lane has the biggest PE customised separate account business in the world, with $23 billion under management. It’s a “documented trend” that these types of investment have been growing fast among institutional clients in Asia, said Delgado-Moreira.

The likes of pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and insurers are not investing so much in PE funds of funds, but nor are they trying to do everything in house, he added.

Demand has been rising fast among private investors as well, although not so much from family offices, which tend to aim to do direct investments in-house, he noted.

Nomura integrates Asian and Japanese wealth units
Nomura has decided to integrate its Japan wealth management group with the Asian arm with a view to creating closer communication and coordination between the two businesses.

The newly combined unit will be overseen by Juntaro Kimura, currently head of financial management and wealth management at Nomura Securities in Japan. He will be appointed senior managing director and head of wealth management at Nomura Holdings. Kimura has run the Japanese wealth management business since 2010

Hiromasa Yamazaki is head of the Asia ex-Japan wealth business and will retain his responsibilities.

All changes are effective July 1.

“This new structure underscores our commitment to Asia and positions us to further expand our wealth management business in the region,” said Nomura Group chief operating officer Atsushi Yoshikawa.

CBRE appoints two senior execs
Property group CBRE has made a duo of senior appointments.

Andrew Nicholson is now head of asset services for Asia Pacific in Hong Kong, effective from September. He will join from Swire Properties, where he manages a $2.5 billion portfolio of commercial and development assets.

Nicholson succeeds Sam Cuccurullo, who will retire later this year after 19 years with CBRE. Cuccurullo will remain with the firm for the coming months during the transition, before returning to Sydney with his family.

Luke Moffat will join CBRE in August as regional managing director for east China based in Shanghai. He will report to Ivan Poon, China president of CBRE.

Moffat joins from private equity real estate firm MGPA, where he was head of leasing in Singapore from 2007 until 2013, a role he continued with US asset manager BlackRock after the two firms merged last year. Before joining MGPA, he was executive director of office agency at property group Colliers International, based in Shanghai.

A CBRE spokeswoman confirmed that Poon was both president for China and managing director for East China, with the latter role now spun off for Moffat.

A BlackRock spokesman confirmed that Moffat will leave the firm at the end of next month.

“Moffat’s departure coincides with a restructuring of the real estate private equity team in Singapore to reflect Asia Square’s transition from a development to a stabilised asset. Andy Chan will lead a team for the asset management of both Asia Square and Axa Tower,” said the spokesman.

Asia Square and Axa Tower are located at Singapore’s Marina Bay.

Russell reshuffles implementation business heads
Fund house Russell Investments has appointed John Venardos to head its implementation services business for Australasia.

Based in Russell’s Sydney office, Venardos will assume the role on June 18. He was previously director of transition management for BNY Mellon in Asia Pacific. Prior to that, he worked at RBC Dexia Investor Service, BNP Paribas Securities Services and Commonwealth Custodial Services.

BNY Mellon is shutting its transition management against a backdrop of transition managers being hit with fines for overcharging clients. JP Morgan is also understood to be closing its Australian transition business, as reported.

Venardos replaces Daniel Birch, who will move to the group’s Australian institutional business development team. The group’s institutional business has won mandates totalling $3 billion year-to-date.

The group’s transition business will likely grow by more than 30% within the region by the end of year, said John Moore, managing director for Asia-Pacific implementation services.

“The expansion is being driven by a massive trend in the region – and around the globe – towards pure agency models,” said Moore. “This follows years of more and more cases being made public, highlighting issues of revenue transparency, conflicts of interest and questions around best execution practices during transitions.”

The implementation services business includes services such as interim portfolio management, portfolio emulation, overlay services, FX agency trading, commission recapture and liability-driven investment.

Citi fills new strategic equity role
US bank Citi has named Nikhil Kohli in a newly created role as director of its strategic equity solutions team in Asia Pacific based in Hong Kong.

He joins from JP Morgan, where he was a senior member of the strategic equity solutions team in Hong Kong. Prior to that, he was at Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank in both Hong Kong and London.

Reporting to Sue Lee, head of strategic equity solutions for Asia Pacific, Kohli will focus on the origination and execution of corporate equity derivative trades. He will work with the banking and capital markets teams to provide corporate and private banking clients with financing, hedging and accumulation alternatives, according to an internal memo.

Other people news reported on AsianInvestor in the past week:

Nomura AM’s first Middle East head flags plans

UBP building multi-family office in Asia

Asia-Pacific head of ETFs exits SSgA