PXP VIETNAM ASSET MANAGEMENT SHUTTING DOWN

Kevin Snowball

PXP Vietnam Asset Management is closing its doors after 16 years of operation, chief executive and chief investment officer Kevin Snowball announced in an email on June 2.

“[I’m] not sure what’s next,” he wrote to AsianInvestor. “I’ll finalise the closure and then think about it.”

The Ho Chi Minh City-based firm will stop running its two strategies – the PXP Vietnam Emerging Equity Fund and PXP Vietnam Smaller Companies Fund – and sell the combined $85 million portfolio.

"There has been a fairly steady drip out [of money] and nothing major to replace it," Snowball said. Its assets under management stood at $92.3 million as of end-2019, while at its peak it stood at just over $500 million around early 2008, he added.

The closure comes despite relatively decent performance this year: the PXP VEEF was down just 3.31% as of the end of May, while the benchmark stock index lost 10.46% over the same period.

NEW MULTI-FAMILY OFFICE CERVIN SETS UP IN MUMBAI

The former chief investment officer of Indian multi-family office Waterfield Advisors, Munish Randev, has founded a new MFO business, along with four other executives. 

Cervin Family Office & Advisors officially opened its doors on June 1, after chief executive Randev started in April following an incubation period of a few months, he told AsianInvestor.

The team is now five-strong, including Randev, who has drafted in four former colleagues from Waterfield. It may add up to three more staff in the next few months, he added.

Cervin hopes to manage wealth for "a few select families" in its first year of operation, he said.

Randev had worked as CIO at Waterfield from 2014 to November 2018 and since then has been advising other family offices, according to his LinkedIn page. He has also worked at firms including India's Avendus Wealth Management, fund manager Fidelity and Dutch bank ABN Amro.

Rohit Karkera joined Cervin last month as head of investments from Waterfield, where he was executive director of investment advisory.

Three other executives started this month.

Jigar Desai is associate director of portfolios, having also joined from Waterfield, where he was director of investment advisory. He has also worked for asset manager DSP Mutual Fund and for rating agency Crisil.

Yatendra Singh Chauhan has taken up the role of associate director of products and credit strategy. He previously headed product research for the listed investment team at Waterfield and before that worked for Crisil.

Harminder Dhillon has come in as Cervin’s head of operations. He was most recently head of private wealth management operations at Spark Family Office & Investment Advisors and before that was head of operations at Waterfield. He has also worked for ICICI Prudential Asset Management, Aviva India and PNB MetLife India Insurance.

Waterfield Advisors did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

FULLERTON NAMES NEW CHINA HEAD

James Zhang Jun

Fullerton Fund Management has appointed James Zhang Jun as general manager for its Shanghai entity as of June 1, reporting to Fullerton chief executive Jenny Sofian.

He replaces Mark Li, who has left after some three years with the firm to pursue other interests, the Singapore-based firm said in a press release.

Zhang was previously executive vice-president and managing director of sales at China International Fund Management, JP Morgan Asset Management’s Chinese joint venture, which declined to comment.

Zhang has also worked as deputy general manager of personal finance, sales and marketing at China Construction Bank.

JUPITER GETS THREE NEW ASIA STAFF IN MERIAN TAKEOVER, WHILE TWO DEPART

Jupiter Asset Management’s headcount in Asia will expand to 16 from 13 when its acquisition of fellow British fund house Merian Global Investors completes – either on July 1 or soon afterwards. But it does not intend to absorb all the former Merian staff.

The fund house aims to build out an institutional investment business in Asia over the coming few years, in line with its global plans, a spokeswoman told AsianInvestor.

Karen Cheng

Three staff will joining from Merian’s Hong Kong business, while at least two others will leave the combined entity.

Karen Cheng will move to Jupiter retaining her title of director of North Asia sales, while Richard Mo will come in as head of China and Taiwan. He was previously head of China at Merian. Both will report to Peter Swarbreck, head of Asia Pacific at Jupiter.

In addition, Yoyo Tso is joining Jupiter as assistant marketing manager for Asia. She will report to Kana Suen, head of Asia Pacific marketing at Jupiter. All three joiners are taking effectively new roles in Jupiter, and they will all be based in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, Edward Ho, currently head of North Asia sales at Merian, and Paco Lee are believed to be leaving the firm. Neither responded immediately to a request for comment made via LinkedIn.

A spokeswoman for Jupiter declined to comment on any departures or on how the functions of the new joiners are currently covered. 

Jupiter has two offices in Asia – in Hong Kong and Singapore – and distribution capabilities in other parts of the region. It had announced its acquisition of Merian on February 17. 

CARLYLE HIRES MD FOR JAPAN ADVISORY TEAM

US private markets giant The Carlyle Group appointed Reiji Terasaka as a managing director of the Japan advisory team, effective June 1.

Reiji Terasaka

Terasaka returns to Carlyle after serving in a number of senior executive positions in Japan and the US.

The role is a newly created one, a spokeswoman said. She declined to comment on how Terasaka's duties were looked after before he joined or whether anyone had left the team in the past six months.

As part of Carlyle Japan’s corporate carve-out team, Terasaka will mainly focus on investments in general industries and consumer, retail and healthcare sectors.

He will report to and work closely with Hiroyuki Otsuka, deputy head of Japan, to further accelerate the firm’s corporate carve-out investments in Japan. This is one of the major areas where Carlyle sees growth opportunities, said the firm in a statement.

Terasaka was most recently senior vice president of business management and M&A at Marelli Corporation (formerly Calsonic Kansei Corporation). 

He had started his career at the Ministry of Finance in Japan, before joining the Merrill Lynch in 2002. He was also a director at Carlyle Japan, spending 10 years at the firm from 2003 to 2013.

FIRST STATE APPOINTS GLOBAL HEAD OF DISTRIBUTION AMID SHAKEUP

Australia's First State Investments has promoted Harry Moore to global head of distribution, a role newly created as part of its ongoing senior management shakeup. He began in his new role on May 21, overseeing a team of 10.

Harry Moore

Moore will relocate from Melbourne to London in the second half of the year, subject to Covid-19 restrictions. He is taking over as head of distribution from Michael Stapleton, managing partner for FSSA Investment Managers and managing director for Asia, and Chris Turpin, managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. They both retain their other roles, and Turpin was also appointed to the new role of global head of corporate development.

Moore had been a managing director with oversight of Australia, New Zealand and Japan for First State. He has been with the fund manager for over 10 years.He continues to report to chief executive Mark Steinberg, as do Stapleton and Turpin.

Meanwhile Liz Hastilow stepped into Moore’s old shoes as managing director for Australia and New Zealand, in addition to her existing job as global chief legal and risk officer. 

The promotion of Moore is part of a broader array of management changes at First State. It previously appointed Perry Clausen to be its new chief investment officer and a member of its new executive committee. His promotion led to Niall Mills becoming head of global infrastructure investments.

In addition, the fund manager has just promoted Lauren Prendiville to head of distribution for Southeast Asia and the Middle East and made Peter Heine head of institutional for the southern region of Australia, while Jeannene O’Day was assigned the institutional northern region of the country. Plus Ross Crocker, head of consultant relationships, was given an expanded remit to manage the Australian client services team.

SRE REMOVES CHAIRMAN AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FROM BOARD

SRE Group, the property development unit of China Minsheng Investment Group, has removed Peng Xinkuang and Chen Donghui from its board following their arrest in February on suspicion of embezzlement.

Peng was formerly chairman at SRE, and Lei Dechao has replaced him. SRE Group did not say whether it has replaced Chen.

The details were provided in a stock exchange filing dated May 28.

SRE said it had submitted a repurchase agreement to buy back the shares in the company owned by Peng and Chen.

STANDARD CHARTERED HIRES GLOBAL WEALTH HEAD

Standard Chartered has hired a new head of global wealth management from the ranks of rival Bank of Singapore.

Marc van de Walle

Marc van de Walle has been appointed to the role and will start on July 6. He had previously worked as global head of products at Bank of Singapore and concurrently as head of wealth management for OCBC, its parent group.

Didier von Daeniken, Standard Chartered’s head of private banking and wealth management, will narrow his focus to solely private banking from July 6, after leading both businesses since joining the bank in 2016.

Van de Walle will take up his new role on July 6 and report to Benjamin Huang, regional chief executive for Greater China and North Asia.

A Standard Chartered spokeswoman referred AsianInvestor questions on how van de Walle would interact with von Daeniken to a press release, which only noted that the latter "would focus his full time on running the private banking business".

A spokeswoman for Bank of Singapore confirmed van de Walle had left, and said that its staff "wish him all the best in his future endeavours". She noted that the bank would seek to replace van de Walle by "evaluating internal candidates first" but that it would not "exclude external candidates" and welcomed "new talents to bring in new experiences and external insights". 

MAS HEAD SAYS OPERATING SAFELY IS KEY

In a speech at ACI Live Aid on May 29, Monetary Authority of Singapore’s managing director Ravi Menon said the financial sector needs to operate safely by taking public health considerations into account.

Ravi Menon
Ravi Menon

Given the ongoing pandemic risks in Singapore, which recorded close to 37,000 cases as of June 5, Menon said the industry must be prepared before a vaccine or treatment for Covid-19 is developed.

Possible changes involve altering office layouts and how transactions are carried out, he said.

He added that the acceleration of digitalisation will be here to stay, as the organisation has seen more of that taking placing in the past two months than what had been expected for the next five years.

“Those financial institutions that adopt deeper end-to-end digitalisation, who are able to use digital platforms for their business operations that today are conducted in person or on paper, are going to have a strong competitive advantage,” Menon said.

Other people news reported by AsianInvestor in the past week: 

Manulife IM loses North Asia head, adds China MD