AIA HIRES JAYNE PLUNKETT AS RISK HEAD; SWISS RE NAMES REPLACEMENT

Hong Kong-based insurer AIA has appointed Jayne Plunkett as chief risk officer (CRO), effective from November 1.

Based in Hong Kong, she will report to Ng Keng Hooi, group chief executive and president. 

Russell Higginbotham

Plunkett joins from Swiss Re, where she was the Singapore-based chief executive of Reinsurance Asia.

She succeeds Mitch New, who had taken over as group CRO in March 2019 on an interim basis after the departure of Jon Nielson. Plunkett will continue in his role as group general counsel at AIA.

Swiss Re has internally appointed Russell Higginbotham to replace Plunkett, effective from July 8, subject to regulatory approvals.

Higginbotham has been with Swiss Re for close to 25 years. He was previously CEO for reinsurance for Europe, the Middle East and Africa and has led the global life and health (L&H) products division. He has also headed the businesses in the UK and Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, and has led the L&H businesses in Japan and Korea.

CQS HIRES FORMER CITY FINANCIAL MACRO TEAM

CQS, a multi-strategy credit asset manager, has hired the seven-strong team that managed the Asia macro strategy of former Hong Kong-based hedge fund manager City Financial, which went into administration this year.

The team, led by Geoff Barker, also comprises Nick Bibby, Neil Scrase, Vishal Mahtani, Chrisy Law, Amanda Chan and Ivan Kan. They will join CQS in Hong Kong.

The strategy, previously known as Counterpoint, complements CQS’s Asian and global capabilities, said the London-headquartered firm in a release. The move, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to be completed within the coming few weeks.

The Asia macro strategy was launched by City Financial in 2014 and returned 12.1% last year, –0.3% in 2017 and 3.9% in 2016, according to a fund factsheet.

BARINGS SECURES PFM LICENCE, NAMES CHINA HEAD

UK fund house Barings plans to hire more staff for its investment management wholly foreign-owned enterprise (IM WFOE) in Shanghai after securing a private fund management licence on June 20.

The IM WFOE is led by Shelley Liu, Shanghai-based head of China, and has 12 staff, a company spokeswoman said. Barings, part of US group MassMutual, plans to hire more people as business develops, she added.

The PFM licence allows the firm to offer onshore investments to high-net-worth and institutional investors in China.

ABERDEEN STANDARD SHUFFLES THAILAND, AUSTRALIA HEADS

Aberdeen Standard Investments has appointed Robert Penaloza as head of Thailand and Michelle Lopez as head of Australian equities, effective July.

Robert Penaloza_Aberdeen Standard Investments
Robert Penaloza

Penaloza will relocate to Bangkok from Sydney, where he was previously head of Australian equities. He replaces Korawut Leenabanchong, who left the firm at the end of April.

In his new role Penaloza reports to Ian Macdonald, deputy head of Asia Pacific, as well as Flavia Cheong, head of Asia Pacific equities, who are both based in Singapore, the firm’s spokeswoman said.

Penaloza is succeeded by Lopez, who is based in Sydney and will head the Australian equities team. She reports to Cheong.

Lopez was previously deputy head of Australian equities, and she will not be replaced in that role, the spokeswoman said.

T. ROWE PRICE APPOINTS GREATER CHINA HEAD OF INTERMEDIARIES 

T. Rowe Price has appointed Priscilla Leung as Hong Kong-based head of intermediary business for Greater China.

She assumed the role on June 13 and reports to Elsie Chan, Hong Kong-based head of distribution for Asia ex-Japan.

In this newly created role, Leung is responsible for managing and building out the firm’s financial intermediary business in Greater China, with an initial focus on the Hong Kong market.

Before Leung came on board, the Hong Kong-based intermediaries team had covered the region.

She was previously Hong Kong-based head of intermediary business at Fidelity International, a role she left in April.

INVESTEC AM HIRES PORTFOLIO MANAGER

Investec Asset Management has appointed Alan Siow as a Hong Kong-based portfolio manager on its emerging markets corporate debt investment team.

Alan Siow

He has relocated from London and joined the fund house on June 1, reporting to Victoria Harling, London-based head of emerging market corporate debt.

Siow takes up a newly created role in the firm's growing emerging markets credit team, a company spokeswoman said. 

Siow was previously a London-based portfolio manager at UK firm BlueBay Asset Management. He will not be replaced, a company spokesman said.

MANULIFE IM APPOINTS INSTO SALES EXEC

Manulife Investment Management has appointed Sahra Lam as Hong Kong-based associate director for client service and sales support for Asia, AsianInvestor can reveal.

Sahra Lam

She joined the Canadian asset manager on May 23 to provide support for covering institutional client relationships, with a primary focus on Greater China, a company spokeswoman said.

She declined to comment on Lam's reporting line or on whether she had replaced anyone.

Lam was previously a Hong Kong-based institutional sales executive at BNY Mellon Investment Management, according to her LinkedIn profile.

A BNY Mellon spokeswoman confirmed Lam had worked in sales support and that her last day with the company was May 22. The firm is seeking a replacement for Lam, she said.

KEVIN BURKE REJOINS DEUTSCHE BANK

Kevin Burke

Kevin Burke has rejoined Deutsche Bank as head of institutional and treasury coverage for Asia Pacific as of June 24.

He previously spent some two years at Standard Chartered as global head of financial markets sales and will remain in Singapore for the new role.

Prior to joining StanChart, Burke had headed Deutsche Bank’s institutional client group for Asia Pacific. It was reported in March that he would be returning to the German group, but the appointment was not confirmed by StanChart at the time.

David Beale and Tamio Honma will continue as co-heads of Deutsche's Asia-Pacific institutional client group, but will now report to Burke, a spokeswoman for the bank said. 

Burke reports to Louise Kitchen, London-based head of institutional and treasury coverage, and Werner Steinmueller, Hong Kong-based chief executive for Asia Pacific.

This story has been updated to clarify who had overseen the institutional client group before Burke rejoined Deutsche Bank.

NEW ADU DHABI FUND HOUSE LAUNCHES

AD Investment Management, part of Abu Dhabi financial services group Invest AD, has set up in the Abu Dhabi Global Market, the city’s international financial centre.

ADM officially launched in March and will start with nine staff and will also have support functions provided by parent Invest AD, said a spokesman.

Yazan Abdeen is chief executive and portfolio Manager at ADIM, having joined Invest AD in June last year. Before that, he headed capital markets investing for Scope Investment, a sovereign private family office in Dubai.

ADIM will focus on investing in the equity markets of the Middle East and North Africa. It also aims to attract institutional investors from Asia as well as deploying capital in Asia, added the spokesman. It will announce the launch of new funds in the near future, a statement said.

Invest AD recently introduced a multi-boutique structure under its asset management platform, targeting institutional investors. 

HP WEALTH EXPANDS FAMILY OFFICE TEAM

Augustine Tan

Singapore-based HP Wealth Management has hired Augustine Tan to the newly created of senior portfolio manager on June 16, managing partner and founder Urs Brutsch told AsianInvestor.

Tan will report to Thomas Koechli and work with him to build out the family office services offering. Tan also reports to chief investment officer Michael Foo.

Tan spent the last eight years with UBS Wealth Management, where he advised ultra-high-net-worth clients in Southeast Asia. The Swiss bank did not respond to enquiries as to when Tan left and whether he has been replaced.

HSBC PB BULKS UP PHILIPPINES COVERAGE

HSBC Private Banking has hired three relationship managers to cover the Philippines as it seeks to grow its business in Asia. 

The bank has named Valerie See-Tang and Janice Marie Laurel as relationship managers in Manila, with Carmen Wong joining in Hong Kong as an RM for the Philippines. All three joined in the last couple of months, a spokeswoman said, without disclosing their dates of arrival. 

The trio will report to Hong Kong-based Bala Balagopalan, market head for the Philippines and Japan and North Asia.

See-Tang was previously head of HSBC Quezon City branch and Marie Laurel was with HSBC’s Ortigas branch focusing on high-net-worth clients. Wong worked at JP Morgan as relationship manager for the Philippines market. The bank declined to comment on their replacements.

SGX PRESIDENT RETIRES

Singapore Exchange president Muthukrishnan Ramaswami is stepping down from his role on October 1, amid a major organisational restructuring at the bourse operator. 

The four business and client units of fixed income, currencies and commodities; equities; data; connectivity and indices; and global sales and origination will report to chief executive Loh Boon Chye from July 1. 

The restructuring, effective June 27, will allow SGX to pursue growth opportunities and build scale in multiple asset classes, the company said. The company declined to comment on whether a replacement will be be named for Ramaswami.