Weekly roundup of people news, June 15

Ex-APG AM man joins AMP Capital; UBS Pan-Asia fixed income head departing; Macquarie IM names Asia head, distribution chief; BNY Mellon WM's new Greater China head, and more.
Weekly roundup of people news, June 15


Hideharu Ichii, senior portfolio manager on the listed real estate team of APG Asset Management Asia, left the Dutch pension fund manager on May 31, AsianInvestor can reveal.

He will join Austraian asset manager AMP Capital in Hong Kong as portfolio manager and analyst in the global real estate investment trust team in July, a spokeswoman  for AMP confirmed to AsianInvestor. However, she did not say who he would report to. 

AsianInvestor understands that Hideharu is being replaced by Masayuki Ozaki, who joins as senior portfolio manager from Heitman, an investment management firm that deals with public and private equity and private debt. 

AsianInvestor was unable to contact any of Heitman’s representatives.


The head of pan-Asia fixed income for UBS Asset Management, Ashley Perrott (pictured), is set to leave the firm by the end of June, AsianInvestor can confirm. 

It is understood that Hong Kong-based Hayden Briscoe, currently head of Asia Pacific fixed income at UBS AM, will take on Perrott’s responsibilities, aided by existing portfolio managers.

Investment veteran Perrott joined UBS AM in 2004 in the Sydney office, before moving to Singapore in 2008. AsianInvestor was unable to ascertain what Perrott would do next.


Australian fund house Macquarie Investment Management has appointed heads of Asia and Asia distribution after the retirement of Alex Maier earlier this year.

Maier’s role combined the head of Asia and head of Asia distribution duties, but Macquarie IM has split the responsibilities into two dedicated roles.

Carl Jacobsohn (pictured) has been named head of Asia. He started in April and is responsible for leading business strategy for the region, as well as overseeing the distribution function.

He is based in Hong Kong and reports to Ben Bruck, global head of Macquarie IM. 

Jacobsohn will also continue in his previous role as chief executive of Korea for the fund manager.

Macquarie IM has also hired Bas van Buuren as head of Asia distribution, and he will start his role in late June.

Van Buuren will be responsible for distribution strategy in Asia, identifying client investment needs and working with the distribution team to build out potential new distribution channels.

He will be based in Hong Kong, and reports to Jacobsohn.

Van Buuren was most recently regional head in Asia at Aegon Asset Management. Aegon AM did not respond to queries from AsianInvestor on his exit date and whether a replacement had been appointed.


BNY Mellon Wealth Management has appointed Yolande Escher as head of Greater China in Hong Kong, effective June 1.

Escher reports to Jeroen Kwist, head of international wealth management.

Escher was previously senior director in the family office group of BNY Wealth Management in London. She has relocated to Hong Kong for her new role, a spokeswoman said. No immediate replacement for her previous role has been announced; her former responsibilities are currently being overseen by Kwist, the spokeswoman added.

She replaces Chuck Long, who will relocate back to the US to take on the role of regional president in Los Angeles. Long will report to president of US Southwestern US markets Shannon Kennedy.


PGIM Real Estate, the property investment arm of US insurer Prudential Financial, has hired Stephen O’Keeffe as an executive director to lead Australian real estate debt investments, effective May 29.

This role has been created to capitalise on the opportunity PGIM Real Estate sees in real estate debt in Australia, a spokeswoman said.

Based in Sydney and reporting to Steve Bulloch, Australia head of PGIM Real Estate, O’Keeffe will source investments and manage relationships with prospective borrowers and partners in Australia.

Investor demand is growing for property debt in Asia Pacific. Indeed, Allianz Real Estate, the property investment arm of German insurer Allianz, is considering expanding its own lending business to Asia Pacific, starting with Australia.

Before joining PGIM Real Estate, O’Keeffe was a Sydney-based senior director in the debt and structured finance team at property services firm CBRE, which did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

Prior to that, he was a fund manager at Quadrant Real Estate Advisors and held fund management roles at Mirvac Funds Management.

PGIM Real Estate has $7.3 billion of assets under management in Asia Pacific out of a global total of $69.6 billion, as of March 31.


Julius Baer has appointed Vicki Lee as group head for Greater China, effective this week. 

She will report to David Shick, head of private banking for Greater China.

While the role is new, there are other executives within the bank that hold the same title, AsianInvestor understands. 

Lee was previously at UBS Wealth Management, where she was country team head for the China market. She left the firm a year ago, and was replaced by Ya Ju Wu, who was from the same team and promoted from desk head, AsianInvestor understands.

Lee has also previously worked at HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank.


GAM Investments has appointed Alex Zaika as managing director for Australia, as the Swiss fund house plans to open a Sydney office later this year.

Zaika will start on July 23, and will be responsible for building GAM’s dedicated Australia team, as well as enhancing their local support infrastructure and servicing capabilities for their Australian clients.

He will be based in Sydney, reporting to Rossen Djounov, managing director and head of Asia. The Sydney location is GAM’s first office in Australia, a GAM spokeswoman said. GAM did not provide an exact opening date for the office.

Prior to the hire, Djounov oversaw the Australia business, the spokeswoman added.

Zaika was most recently BlackRock’s Australian head of wealth for iShares, the US fund house’s ETF products. He is understood to have left the firm on May 28. His former duties and responsibilities are understood to have been assumed by the broader iShares team. 


BNP Paribas has appointed Diana Senanayake as head of Singapore for BNP Paribas Securities Services, effective June 14.

She joins from RBC Investor and Treasury Services in Luxembourg, where she was most recently managing director for global client coverage.

Senanayake replaces Mostapha Tahiri, who was named head of institutional investors and digital transformation for Asia Pacific at BNP Paribas Securities Services in September 2017. Tahiri remains based in Singapore for his regional role, continuing to report to Benoit.

She reports to Pierre Veyres, BNP Paribas’s Singapore chief executive, and Philippe Benoit, head of Asia Pacific at BNP Paribas Securities Services, which has $11.6 trillion in assets under custody globally.

Senanayake had been with RBC since 2005 in other roles including head of Malaysia and Singapore. She has also worked at consultancies Deloitte and Ernst & Young in Europe.


Hong Kong-based insurer FWD Group has hired a former financial institutions advisor as group corporate transactions officer.

Petter Sternby, most recently head of the financial institutions advisory team at Standard Chartered Bank, has been appointed to oversee FWD’s efforts to align with public company standards.

Sternby started in June, an FWD spokeswoman said, and he reports to Craig Merdian, chief financial officer.

The Hong Kong-based role is newly created, said the spokeswoman, but FWD did not provide further details on the specifics of the role.

Standard Chartered declined to comment on Sternby’s exit date and whether a replacement has been announced.


US insurer Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance has appointed Mark Lingafelter as Australasia president.

Lingafelter started on June 4, and oversees BHSI’s business in Australia and New Zealand, a BHSI spokeswoman said.

He is based in Sydney, and reports to Peter Eastwood, president and chief executive of BHSI, the spokeswoman added.

Lingafelter replaces Chris Colahan, who is now president of UK and Europe for BHSI.

Lingafelter was most recently chief underwriting officer for Asia Pacific at Australian insurer QBE Insurance. Andy White has replaced Lingafelter at QBE as chief underwriting officer, a QBE spokesman said. The Australian insurer declined to comment on Lingafelter’s exit date.


Impact investment manager BlueOrchard Finance has expanded its presence in the Asia Pacific region by opening a new office in Singapore in June.

Through the new office, BlueOrchard aims to tap increasing demand for impact investing in the region, the firm said in a media statement.

The Singapore office will be led by Pierrick Balmain, head of business development for Asia Pacific, who will be based in Singapore. He reports to David Keel, who is a member of the company's executive management team.*

Before joining BlueOrchard in 2015, Balmain worked for JP Morgan Asset Management.

The Singapore office will complement the firm’s office in Phnom Pehn, Cambodia, which opened around eight years ago, the company said in its statement. 

*This story was updated with additional details.


TR Capital, a Hong Kong-based private equity secondaries firm, has opened an office in Mumbai

The Mumbai office will report to Paul Robine, founding partner and chief executive of TR Capital. The firm, which manages capital commitments of $400 million, has relocated several team members and will continue hiring locally.

The office opened last month with a headcount of three, said a spokesman by email, declining to provide any names.

Secondaries investment refers to the buying and selling of existing investor commitments to investment funds.

Other people move news reported by AsianInvestor this week:

BNP Paribas Cardif Life raids Axa for Asia CIO

Future Fund property head leaves, causing reshuffle

Canada's PSP doubles private debt, steps up Asia push

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