SSGA TO NAME JAMES ONG AS SINGAPORE HEAD

James Ong, head of Southeast Asia client relationships at State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), will take on the additional role of Singapore head later this year, AsianInvestor can reveal.

He will succeed Hon Cheung in the post, who had been Asia-Pacific head of the official institutions group (OIG) as well as Singapore chief.

Cheung became global chief investment strategist for the OIG in January, as reported. It therefore made sense for the Singapore management function to transfer to a more commercially focused individual, said Wong, as has been the plan for a while.

Before joining SSGA in November, Ong was client director looking after Southeast Asian institutions at HSBC Global Asset Management.

SSGA has made several changes to its sales and client service teams in Asia recently, is about to hire a new Korea head and is considering upgrading its Seoul representative office to a subsidiary, as reported.

HSBC PB NAMES ASIA HEAD OF DISCRETIONARY

Michael Christo has joined HSBC Private Bank as head of discretionary for Asia from UBS Wealth Management, effective June 1. As such he will oversee the regional managed solutions business.

The role has been newly carved out to reflect increased client demand for managed solutions, confirmed a spokeswoman.

Christo reports to Sam Edwards, who oversees the discretionary business as part of his role as Asia head of managed solutions, alternative investments and mutual funds.

Christo had been a Hong Kong desk head at UBS, but the Swiss bank declined to comment on whether he had been replaced.

JP MORGAN AM LURES CHINA ANALYST FROM FIDELITY 

Rebecca Jiang joined JP Morgan Asset Management from Fidelity International in April as an executive director and equity portfolio manager on the Greater China team, AsianInvestor can reveal.

A spokeswoman said: “It is a new role given the expansion of our China footprint, with us hiring multiple research analysts based in Hong Kong and our WFOE [wholly foreign-owned enterprise] in Shanghai.”

The US fund house received approval in August last year to set up the investment management WFOE and has been building up its Greater China equity research desk in the past year or so, as reported.

Jiang left Fidelity International in March, where she had been an investment analyst for six years, covering China financials, China healthcare and Asia ex-Japan gaming, according to her LinkedIn page.

Asked whether Jiang had been replaced, a Fidelity spokeswoman did not comment directly, saying that in Asia the firm had a team of 50 investment analysts.

ALLIANZGI SEES SENIOR ASIA ANALYST DEPART

Kathy Chen left her post as senior research analyst for Asia Pacific at Allianz Global Investors on May 5, AsianInvestor can reveal.

She had been with the firm for nearly seven years and had covered Asia ex-Japan telecoms, internet and media stocks, according to her LinkedIn page. AllianzGI declined to comment on whether she had been or would be replaced.

AsianInvestor could not ascertain Chen's next destination by press time.

Before joining AllianzGI, Chen had worked in equity research at Goldman Sachs for about seven years.

HERMES ADDS IN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Hermes Investment Management, a London-based asset manager, has hired Tai Watanabe as business development assistant manager.

Based in the firm’s Asia headquarters in Singapore, he will report to Jakob Nilsson, head of Asia-Pacific business development. In the newly created role, Watanabe will cover both institutional and wholesale clients.

He joined on May 22 from JP Morgan Chase Bank, where he was sales support and back-office team leader for foreign exchange clients based in Singapore. He has also worked for Barclays in Singapore and Sawakami Asset Management and Credit Suisse Securities in Japan. 

ABN AMRO NAMES ASIA HEAD OF FIG

Simon Wood is to rejoin ABN Amro as Asia head of its financial institutions group (FIG), based in Hong Kong.

The bank said the position had not existed for some time and that Wood was heading a new team created as part of its growth strategy in Asia.

Wood had previously been head of financial institutions investment banking for Asia Pacific at BNP Paribas since 2011. Prior to that, he held a similar role at Macquarie in Asia and, more recently, also had oversight of Europe and the US. Wood had worked at ABN Amro from 2004 to 2005 as Asia head of FIG.

He is a career FIG specialist with a particular strength in the insurance sector, said Jonathan Greenwood, ABN Amro’s global head of financial institutions.

Other people news reported by AsianInvestor in the past week:

SSGA eyes Korea subsidiary amid Asia expansion drive

Harvest Global sees senior duo exit in sales revamp

China Life's new tie-up with Manulife AM explained