SSGA NAMES HEAD OF ASIA PACIFIC

US investment manager State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) has appointed James MacNevin as head of Asia Pacific.

Effective Friday (March 2), MacNevin started work at SSGA. His responsibilities include overseeing SSGA’s business across the Apac region. MacNevin, who was most recently chief operating officer in Asia Pacific for SSGA, will also continue to cover the COO responsibilities until a new person is named to fill the role, a company spokeswoman said.

He replaces former head of Asia Pacific Lochiel Crafter, who will relocate from Sydney to Boston as part of his new role as head of the global institutional group, the spokeswoman said. MacNevin, who is based in Sydney, reports to Crafter.

Prior to his COO role, MacNevin worked as the US investment firm's international head of operations and technology in London. 

GOLDMAN SACHS'S KATHERINE ABRAT EXITS

The long-standing head of prime brokerage consulting for Goldman Sachs has left the firm. Katherine Abrat is thought to be taking up a role on the buy-side, but AsianInvestor could not ascertain where.

Abrat's Hong Kong regulatory licence with Goldman ceased on February 3. A bank spokeswoman confirmed her departure but declined to comment further.

Before joining the US bank in June 2010, Abrat had been Asia-Pacific general counsel at fund house Janus Capital and has also worked at law firms Sidley Austin and Mallesons Stephen Jaques.

Shane Bolton is the head of prime brokerage for Asia and remains in that role.

Abrat, viewed as a leading expert on the hedge fund industry, is also chair of the Hong Kong executive committee for the Alternative Investment Management Association.

Prime brokers service hedge fund clients, typically helping facilitate securities lending and borrowing, business setup and fund structuring.

CAPITAL GROUP HIRES APAC HEAD OF FIXED INCOME SERVICES

US fund house Capital Group has hired James Blair to be its Asia Pacific head of fixed income services, a newly created role. And it intends to bring in more personnel, as part of a broader plan to expand its regional fixed income team, get a larger share of institutional investor mandates, and promote target-dated retirement funds.

The asset manager, which manages $1.7 trillion globally, hired Blair from UBS, where he had led the Swiss bank’s Asia Pacific fixed income specialist team and directly managed its Australian fixed income investment strategy. And the company is close to hiring a second investment specialist based in Tokyo.

Blair, who will be based in Singapore, had been at UBS for seven years before leaving in December, according to his LinkedIn biography. His appointment means that Capital Group now has four people focused upon fixed income investing in the region, out of a total regional staff of 260.

The asset manager is best known for its active equity funds but is making a global push to attract institutional flows into its fixed income and multi-asset funds as well. Back in June, it appointed Shen Tan as head of institutional business for Asia, only to lose William Tan, its director for strategic solutions, in August.

On February 13, Capital Group announced the launch of its Capital Group Global Corporate Bond Fund, and it began to target this at Asian investors among others.

Thomas Quantrille, the Tokyo-based president and head of Asia for Capital Group, said Blair would effectively act as a conduit for views of analysts and portfolio managers across the fund manager’s global operations.

Blair is unlikely to be the last fixed income hire by the company in Asia; Quantrille  indicated that Capital Group would likely more than double the fixed income personnel it has in the region over the coming three years. 

“We definitely have a 10-year view [of growing in Asia],” Quantrille said. “Most clients or prospects know Capital Group more as an equity manager, so we have more work to connect our capabilities and build a [multi-asset] franchise [in Asia].” 

Capital Group is seeking to take advantage of the ongoing regional interest in a combination of multi-asset investment strategies, and outcome-focused segregated fixed income mandates. It has been seeking to build out its distribution capabilities in the region via intermediaries for a few years.

BMO PRIVATE BANK’S HEAD OF INVESTMENT FOR ASIA EXITS

Tommy Leung, Hong Kong-based head of investment for Asia at BMO private bank, has left the bank in January.

Leung left for personal reasons and the company is yet to recruit his replacement. Shirley Leung, deputy head of investment for Asia, is taking care of his duties on an interim basis, a company spokeswoman said.

AsianInvestor could not ascertain by press time what Leung is going to do next.

NORTHERN TRUST NAMES LEADER FOR AUSTRALASIA BUSINESS

Northern Trust has promoted Angelo Calvitto to be the head of its Australasia business, comprising Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

Calvitto is now the head of sales for institutional business across Asia Pacific. He will assume the new role on June 8 and will be responsible for providing asset servicing, asset management and capital markets solutions. In this new role he will report to William Mak, Singapore-based head of Asia-Pacific.

Calvitto succeeds Madeleine Senior, who will assume a leadership role in Northern Trust’s London office. Her exact title and position will be announced in due course, a company spokesman said.

Senior and Calvitto will work closely to ensure a seamless transition across both their existing roles in the coming months. The company has not yet decided on who will succeed Calvitto as the head of sales for Asia Pacific.

WHOLESALE BUSINESS HEAD AT STANDARD LIFE INVESTMENTS EXITS

Virginia Devereux Wong, head of the wholesale business at Standard Life Investments, left at the end of January 2018.

Devereux Wong joined Standard Life Investments in September 2013, according to her LinkedIn profile. She has also previously worked with Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

Her responsibilities have been taken over by the existing members of the team, led by Amelie Remond, head of banks for Asia Pacific at Aberdeen Standard Investments, a company spokeswoman told AsianInvestor.

Singapore-based Remond leads the asset manager’s global banking strategy and relationships in the region.

Aberdeen Asset Management and Standard Life completed their merger in August 2017 to become Standard Life Aberdeen, the UK’s largest active asset manager.

LASALLE IM APPOINTS JAPAN CEO

LaSalle Investment Management, a real estate-focused investment manager, has appointed Keith Fujii as chief executive officer (CEO) and president of Japan, effective March 01.

Based in Tokyo, he will lead the LaSalle platform for investments in core-oriented strategies in Japan.

Fujii will also become representative director and president of LaSalle Investment Management, and join the board of directors at LaSalle Reit Advisors, asset manager to the firm's Japan logistics Reit, LaSalle Logiport Reit.

He joins LaSalle Investment Management from Ishin Hotel Group, where he was CEO. Fujii replaces Yas Nakashima, who will continue to be a representative director of LaSalle Investment Management. 

MFS ADDS TO FIXED INCOME TEAM

MFS has appointed Owen Murfin as an institutional portfolio manager within the global fixed income team that covers Asia.

Murfin has started working at the US-based investment manager in December last year. He reports to Pilar Gomez-Bravo, director of fixed income for Europe. Both Murfin and Gomez-Bravo are based in London.

This is a newly created role as MFS continues to grow the fixed income business outside of the US. Prior to Murfin’s joining, much of the work supporting clients was shared amongst the existing fixed income investment team.

Murfin previously worked at BlackRock, where he was a fixed income portfolio manager. BlackRock declined to comment on his departure.

ABRAAJ RESTRUCTURES, APPOINTS CO-CEOS

Private equity firm Abraaj Holdings announced it would create a separate investment fund management entity and appoint a new leadership team, following accusations that the firm was misusing investor funds.

The Dubai-headquartered group has created a separate fund management entity, Abraaj Investment Management Ltd (AIML), which will be independently managed, according to a media statement.

The new fund management business will oversee the operations of all of Abraaj’s funds globally on behalf of leading institutional investors, and manage a portfolio of businesses across Asia, Africa, Middle East, Turkey and Latin America.

Arif Naqvi, founder of Abraaj, has handed over the the reins of the fund management entity to newly appointed co-chief executives, Omar Lodhi and Selcuk Yorgancioglu, with immediate effect.

Both executives have been with the group for over 10 years as partners, managing Abraaj’s Asia and Turkey businesses, respectively. Naqvi will focus on managing Abraaj Holdings and will retain a non-executive role as a member of the global investment committee of AIML.

Mustafa Abdel-Wadood, Wahid Hamid and Sev Vettivetpillai will continue their full time role as members of the global investment committee and as managing partners of AIML, with oversight responsibility for the executive committee of AIML.

FIERA CAPITAL TAKES OVER HK-BASED CLEARWATER CAPITAL

The co-founders of credit and special situations private private equity company Clearwater Capital are set to remain with the Hong Kong-based company, after the firm revealed that it had agreed to be taken over by Canadian investment manager Fiera Capital on March 1, 2018.

Robert Petty (pictured left) and Gupta (pictured below left), who co-founded Clearwater Capital Partners in 2001, will take on new titles as co-chief executives and co-chief investment officers of the combined company, a Clearwater spokesman said.

The firm’s assets will be added to Fiera’s private alternative investments division, though it will operate independently on the investment side, said the spokesman.

They will report to John Valentini, global chief financial officer and president of the private alternative investments division at Fiera, according to the spokesman.

Clearwater has no immediate plans to expand its team of 38 spread across five offices across Asia Pacific and the US, the spokesman said.

The agreement comes nearly four months after former Hong Kong-based private banker Vincent Duhamel joined Fiera as global president and chief operating officer.

The acquisition is expected to close over the next few months, the Clearwater spokesman said, as it is subject to regulatory approvals.

HSBC PRIVATE BANK APPOINTS INDONESIA DESK HEAD

HSBC Private Bank has hired Tan How Seng as desk head for Indonesia, according to a spokeswoman for the bank.

Tan joined in late February, the spokeswoman said. Based in Singapore, he reports to Lim Chee Kong, the Indonesia market head for HSBC Private Bank, the spokeswoman added.

Most recently, Tan led a team of private bankers for Swiss bank Bank J. Safra Sarasin in Singapore. He has also held senior roles at Barclays Bank, OCBC Bank, and the International Bank of Singapore.

HSBC did not clarify Tan's role responsibilities and who covered Indonesia business prior to his appointment by press time.

J. Safra Sarasin declined to comment on Tan’s departure date, his replacement, and whether anybody has been appointed to cover his former duties in the interim.

Other people news reported by AsianInvestor in the last two weeks:

Axa IM closes HK multi-asset team in structural shift

HK's Insurance Authority prepares for new head