SSGA's Asia chief resigns
Ting Li, State Street Global Advisors’ (SSGA) head of Asia ex-Japan, has resigned.

Hong Kong-based Li, who has been at the firm since 2001, will leave SSGA in mid-August. Kevin Anderson, Asia-Pacific head of investments, will assume her duties on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is found. Anderson will continue to report to Lochiel Crafter, senior managing director and head of Asia Pacific for SSGA.

A spokesman for SSGA said the firm was unaware of where Li was moving to. He added that Li will be transitioning her functions to Anderson over the coming weeks.

On the recruitment process, the spokesman said: “SSGA has commenced a comprehensive internal and external search for a replacement for this role and will communicate a successor at the conclusion of this process.”

Li joined SSGA in 2001 and since then has worked in risk management on the US fixed income trading desk, fixed income investment, Asia-Pacific risk management, product development and China market development.

Earlier in her career, Li worked for China Construction Bank and Korea Exchange Bank in China.

Anderson has worked at SSGA since October 2001, holding a variety of roles including managing director and global CIO for fixed income and currency.

CIC subsidiary loses president
Central Huijin, a subsidiary of China’s sovereign wealth fund CIC, lost its president Xie Zhichun last Friday (May 29), only one year after he was hired.

China Investment Corporation (CIC) announced Xie will no longer serve as an executive vice-president at CIC, after he resigned his role as president of Central Huijin. The subsidiary was set up to invest in state-owned enterprises including large domestic banks.

The state fund has appointed Guo Xiangjun as executive vice-president to take up Xie’s CIC role. Central Huijin has not announced a new president, but Guo will assume the day-to-day duties.

Neither CIC nor Central Huijin explained why Xie resigned. In a statement, CIC said Xie had improved Huijin’s equity investments and boosted corporate governance in the financial firms that the fund owns stakes in.

China media speculated that Xie’s departure was related to Central Huijin selling its stakes in two state banks - China Construction Bank and ICBC – which, it was claimed, helped to push down the Shanghai equity benchmark index by 6.5% on May 28.

Xie denied these rumours on WeChat, and said he had decided to resign in February this year. However, he declined to explain the reasons for his resignation. Market rumours are that Xie will work at Shenzhen University’s economic research centre.

Xie joined CIC and Central Huijin in 2014 from China Everbright group, where he had worked for nearly 20 years. He was the vice-president of Everbright group and the chairman of Sun Life Everbright Life Insurance, a joint venture between Everbright and Canada’s Sun Life Financial. 

Citi appoints Philippines head
Citi has appointed Aftab Ahmed as country head for the Philippines effective July 15.  Ahmed replaces Indonesian banker Batara Sianturi, who took up the post of country head in Indonesia on June 1. Sianturi is taking over from Tigor Siahaan, who left to join CIMB Niaga in March as chief executive.

Ahmed will be responsible for all of Citi’s businesses in the Philippines, reporting to Michael Zink, Asean head and Singapore country head.

Ahmed is a 39-year Citi veteran, and the Philippines’ appointment will be his third as country head. Ahmed is presently country head for Citi Hungary and regional head for Hungary and the Balkan and Baltic regions. Prior to this he was country head for Citi Egypt.

He has worked for Citi in 10 countries across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific.

Vanguard relocates director to Singapore
Asset manager Vanguard Investments is relocating its Hong Kong-based director for retail and intermediary sales Eddy Lam to Singapore for 6-9 months. Lam will be making the move tomorrow (June 5).

Lam’s mission in Singapore will be to engage and deepen relationships with private banks and expand Vanguard's funds and ETF penetration with the city’s high-net-worth investors. Vanguard has a limited range of authorised ETF products for Asia’s retail market - its website lists five, but it has a range of unauthorised funds and ETFs that it could distribute to HNWIs through private banks.

Vanguard has a small team of intermediary sales staff in Singapore and it is understood that the firm will not be adding more, but instead Lee will use his temporary relocation there to boost its sales push.

Lee reports to Linda Luk, managing director for retail and intermediary sales, based in Hong Kong. Lee has worked at Vanguard since February 2013. Prior to that he was at Henderson Global Investors as associate director for fund distribution between May 2007 and December 2012, and senior relationship manager at ABN Amro from December 2002 to April 2007. Both positions were in Hong Kong.

JLL boosts China investment team
Property services firm JLL has hired Kitty Liu as national director of its international capital group in China. Beijing-based Liu joined JLL on June 1 and reports to Alistair Meadows, JLL’s Asia-Pacific international capital group head. Liu’s role will be to source global property investments for clients. JLL said the position was newly created in order to cater for growing demands of Chinese outbound capital.

Liu comes from CBRE China where she was most recently senior director for global capital markets in Beijing. She worked at CBRE from March 2006 until last month.

SC Lowy hires bond trading chief
Hussein Nasser started as head of European bond trading at SC Lowy on June 1. The newly-created London-based hire is part of the Hong Kong-headquartered fixed income specialist’s push into the euro high-yield bond market. Regulatory capital pressures have seen large investment banks retreat, opening up opportunities for niche players, said SC Lowy’s Hong Kong-based CEO Michel Lowy.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Nasser worked for credit investor TKG Investments (October 2014-May 2015) as a senior advisor prior to joining SC Lowy. Before that he was head of European corporate credit trading at Nomura International. Both positions were based in London. Nasser joined Nomura from Lehman Brothers in November 2008 and left in July 2014.

Other people news reported by AsianInvestor over the past week:

ITG launches platform for Asia hedge funds

BNY Mellon IM shuts SMA platform, lays off staff

HSBC GAM appoints head of China institutional business

Harvest maps out Europe plans after RQFII win