Weekly roundup of people news, Mar 27

Barings's ex-head of sovereigns joins ETF firm; HSBC Securities Services gets new client head; AQR pares Asia sales team; KKR appoints Asia-Pacific tech investment head; CGS-CIMB hires chief investment strategist; EFG poaches IAM team from UBS; First State names head of investment product research; HSBC GAM has management reshuffle and more.
Weekly roundup of people news, Mar 27


Tabula Investment Management, a London-based fixed income exchange-traded funds provider, has hired Gary Smith this month as sovereign client coverage consultant.

Until October last year Smith was global head of sovereign wealth funds and official institutions at fund house Barings. It is understood that he has not been replaced but the firm did not respond to a request for confirmation or comment.

Tabula, set up in 2018, has brought in Smith both as its first dedicated salesperson for sovereign institutions and to help with product development, with an initial focus on inflation. 

Smith remains in London and reports to MJ Lytle, the firm’s chief executive, but will travel globally in the new role, including to Asia.

Smith also runs a think tank called Sovereign Focus to advise asset owners on issues related to asset management, which he set up when he left Barings.

He had been with Barings, which is owned by US insurer Mass Mutual, since November 2013. Before that he was global head of official institutions at BNP Paribas Asset Management.


HSBC Securities Services has poached rival Citi to bring in Steven McCullough as its head of asset owners and managers business development and client management for Asia Pacific, based in Hong Kong, according to an internal statement seen by AsianInvestor.

Steven McCullough

He began working today (March 27), filling the position that had been vacant since Jitendra Somani moved to the US for HSBC Securities Services last year. Somani's responsibilities had been covered on an interim basis by Benjamin O’Hare, Patrick Wong and Varun Lodha. 

Previously McCullough had been Citi’s managing director for Asia Pacific client executive and account management, for custody and fund services. There, he had covered clients as asset managers and asset owners across 12 locations. McCullough was at Citi since July 2018, and before that he worked for over 25 years at JP Morgan Chase, holding a variety of senior positions. 

McCullough reports locally to Brian Godins, head of securities services for Asia Pacific, and to Sebastien Danloy, global head of asset owners and managers for securities services.

A Citi spokesman declined to comment about who was covering McCullough’s responsibilities and whether it would replace him.  


AQR, a US-based quantitative fund house, has seen Matei Mihalca leave his role as Asia head of business development, and Keith Yu, a vice president on the same team, has also moved on.

Both departed in January, and their responsibilities have been absorbed by the rest of the regional team.

Jeff Dunn, head of Asia Pacific, and vice president Greg Folan will continue to manage client relationships in the region.

As of end-2019, AQR had $186 billion under management.

Mihalca had been with the firm since 2015 and relocated from the US in 2016 to set up and head the Hong Kong office. Yu had joined AQR from Wellington Management in May 2018.


Lucian Schönefelder

Private equity giant KKR has transferred Lucian Schönefelder to Hong Kong to assume the newly created role of Asia Pacific head of technology. 

Reporting to Asia-Pacific head Lu Ming, Schönefelder will lead the emerging Asia technology strategy, focusing on growth-stage and late-stage investments, and help build out the regional growth equity business, said a KKR spokeswoman. 

Schönefelder was previously a London-based partner leading KKR's growth equity and internet private equity investment activities across Europe and Israel. Stephen Shanley, a director on the team, will take over from him.

Schönefelder had worked for JP Morgan’s mergers and acquisitions arm before joining KKR in 2007. 

This story has been updated to reflect information provided by KKR.


Singapore-based CGS-CIMB Securities has appointed Simon Lim Say Boon as chief investment strategist, effective March 16.

Based in Melbourne, Australia, he reports to Bertram Lai, regional head of research at the Chinese-Malaysian joint venture broker. His role was newly created to broaden the service and research offering to include global macro strategy, asset allocation, and FX views.

AsianInvestor understands that Lim was most recently a consultant at Singapore's DBS Bank until the end of February and will remain a senior adviser to Hong Kong-based exchange-traded fund firm Premia Partners and a non-executive director and chairman of the audit and risk committee of SMEC Holdings. 

He was the chief investment officer at DBS from 2010 to 2017, when he had returned to Australia for family reasons. 


Swiss private bank EFG has hired a five-strong team from rival UBS in Hong Kong to cover independent asset managers, with a focus on Greater China. 

Kitty Chou

Kitty Chou and Kenneth Chan lead the team as head and deputy head of IAM for North Asia, respectively. Chou reports to Richard Straus, Hong Kong head of private banking.

Chou was until August 2019 Hong Kong head for global financial intermediary markets (GFIM) at UBS, where she had worked for almost two decades across Zurich and Hong Kong. Andri Boesch transferred from Zurich to take over from her from September.

Chan was Hong Kong head of business development for GFIM at UBS. Prior to that, he worked at Standard Chartered and was head of IAM for Hong Kong at Swiss private bank Pictet. 

Joining Chou and Chan from UBS are Karen Ho, Amanda Fong and Alice Chan, who report to Chan.

The new team will work closely with the IAM team in Singapore, which is led by Gino Ragazzini.

A UBS spokesman declined to comment on how the team's former responsibilities would now be handled. 

This story has been updated to reflect information provided by UBS.


First State Investments has appointed Hendrie Koster as head of investment product research and assurance.

Hendrie Koster

Koster joined First State on March 30 and is based in Sydney. He leads a team that focuses on building a global product research capability to identify long-term commercial opportunities. He reports to Clare Wood, Edinburgh-based global head of product.

This is a new role created as part of the recently-established global product function in November last year to better identify product development opportunities, a company spokesman said.

He joins from Nikko AM, where he was head of product and strategy for Australia. Nikko AM declined to comment on his departure.


HSBC Global Asset Management has appointed Stuart White as global head of strategy and UK and international CEO, as part of a broader restructuring.

Stuart White

London-based White had been head of strategy at HSBC Global AM since September 2015, accountable for strategy, planning and chief of staff activities. In his newly expanded role he leads the firm’s strategic programme, future strategy, M&A, among other areas.

White is also responsible for HSBC GAM entities in the UK, Bermuda, Malta, Turkey, and oversee asset management activities in Saudi Arabia and for Hang Seng Investment Management in Hong Kong. His CEO appointment in the UK is subject to regulatory approval.

White continues reporting to Nicolas Moreau, global CEO.

In addition, London-based Ian Barnett becomes HSBC GAM’s newly created head of CIO office, overseeing investment processes across geographies. He previously headed global portfolio analytics and design, and continues overseeing these areas.

Moreover, Joseph Little, London-based multi asset co-CIO and global chief strategist and Jean-Charles Bertrand, Paris-based multi asset co-CIO, have divided their responsibilities. Little will lead the macro and strategy team as the global chief strategist, while Bertrand becomes the sole multi-asset CIO focusing on multi-asset investing.

Melissa McDonald, global head of product equities and responsible investment, becomes the newly created head of responsible investment, sitting within the global investments team. She leads responsible investing strategy, focusing on policy, partnerships and product innovation. Alexander Davey, Hong Kong-based senior product specialist, will cover her former product equities role.

Barnett, Little, Bertrand and McDonald will report to London-based global CIO Joanna Munro and their new appointments are effective immediately.


Swiss private bank UBP has named Rajan Thyagarajan as senior relationship manager, effective March 16.

Rajan Thyagarajan

He reports to Ranjit Khanna, Singapore chief executive and Southeast Asia head of wealth management. He will be focusing on engaging with ultra-high-net-worth clients. A spokeswoman said he role was newly created.

Thyagarajan joined from UTI Asset Management where he was global head of institutions, according to his Linkedin profile.


InvestCloud, a digital wealth management solutions provider, has moved Taryn Balthazar to become head of distribution for Asia Pacific and Australia.

The new appointment is part of the California-based firm’s efforts to gain more clients and business and support product development in the region. Balthazar moved to the role after leading a major robo-advice and digital self-select investing project for InvestCloud in the US. The company said she would be joined by “InvestCloud specialists” to build the Singapore office and operations.

InvestCloud did not respond to questions about whether this is a new role, and whether it intended to hire other people beyond Balthazar for Asia Pacific coverage.

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