HK SFC enforcement head seen as 'odd' choice
The Hong Kong markets regulator has named Thomas Atkinson as executive director of enforcement, but the choice seems an unusual one, said a senior lawyer based in the city.

Atkinson, currently director of the enforcement branch of Ontario Securities Commission in Canada, has been appointed for a three-year term effective from May 3, 2016.

The Securities and Futures Commission role in Hong Kong had been vacant since Mark Steward left in September to join the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority as director of enforcement and market oversight. Steward had spent nine years at the SFC.

“It is an odd choice to appoint a Canadian litigator,” said the unnamed lawyer. “This is a role that requires some understanding of Hong Kong law and procedure and of the cultural, political and business environment. This candidate does not seem to check any of these boxes."  

The choice also suggested that the list of appropriately qualified local applicants was very short, he added. "The length of time it took [to find a replacement] also seems unusually long – again signifying that they had trouble filling the post.”

The lawyer also questioned why the SFC did not promote Maureen Garrett, who had been “ably” standing in, as the permanent replacement. 

This is the second recent appointment by the regulator to be seen as unusual, following Julia Leung's switch last month to head of intermediaries after only a year as head of investment products. The latter position had also proved difficult to fill after the retirement of Alexa Lam as deputy CEO. 

China Post Global acquires RBS’s ETF range, investment team
Hong Kong-based China Post Global, the international arm of China Post & Capital Fund Management, has acquired the 10 European exchange-traded funds of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and hired members of the ex-RBS team to run it.  

This is the first time that a Hong Kong asset manager has acquired a European Ucits ETF umbrella. Between them the funds, listed in Frankfurt and Zurich, have assets under management of €360 million ($402 million). The products, which invest in commodities and emerging-market and frontier-market equities, will be cross-listed in Hong Kong.

London-based Danny Dolan (pictured left) will run the business. He was previously managing director of the structured funds team at RBS, which had managed the ETF range and other Ucits funds.

China Post Global has hired four front-office personnel in London, all of whom used to work in RBS's structured funds team. It has also appointed an ETF sales specialist in Hong Kong to help drive its distribution strategy for the products in China and Hong Kong, but declined to identify the individual as they have not yet started in the role.

The aim is to grow the existing ETFs and to launch new funds in Asia and Europe. China Post Global plans later this year to launch the first smart-beta ETFs in Europe to invest in Chinese securities. It will also target distribution in mainland China.

China Post & Capital is owned by state-run China Post Group, Capital Securities (the brokerage arm of Capital Group, another Chinese SOE) and Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.  

Jupiter shuffles Asia sales team
UK-based Jupiter Asset Management has shuffled its sales team in Asia. 

David Conway, sales director based in Singapore, will move to Jupiter’s London office in the second quarter of this year for a senior role in the global financial institutions group (GFIG).

Madeline Han, who joined Jupiter in August last year as associate sales director, will take over the senior sales role in Singapore. She joined Jupiter from Templeton Asset Management in Singapore, where she worked for eight-and-a-half years, looking after insurance, consumer bank and private bank clients.  

Jupiter AM is seeking a sales manager to support Han in developing its Southeast Asia business.

Meanwhile, Shirley Chong was named as associate sales director at the start of 2016, to work with sales director Tony Yu, both being based in Hong Kong.

Chong was previously vice president of distribution at Allianz Global Investors, and worked at US fund house Fidelity prior to that. She had covered the retail business in Hong Kong for both firms. 

BSI names new Hong Kong CEO
The personnel changes continue at Swiss private bank BSI, following its sale to rival firm EFG International. 

Alberto Pasini has relocated to take over as Hong Kong chief executive, in addition to his duties as Hong Kong chief operating officer, a position he took up in January.

He replaced Ciro Ahmad, who left the bank late last year. AsianInvestor could not ascertain Ahmad's next move.

Pasini previously held a number of senior roles at BSI in Europe, most recently as head of the CEO’s office in Switzerland, responsible for strategic projects.

The bank did not respond to a query about whom Pasini would report to.

Last September BSI was bought by Brazil's Banco BTG Pactual, but was sold in January to Switzerland's EFG International. BTG had been forced to sell assets when its CEO Andre Esteves was caught up in the Petrobras corruption scandal.

BSI’s Asia CEO, Hanspeter Brunner, will retire shortly and hand over to his deputy, Raj Sriram, as reported.

India's Sanctum Wealth hires first CIO
Sanctum Wealth Management, the company formed from RBS’s Indian private banking business, has hired Sunil Sharma as its first chief investment officer.

Sharma, who took up the post in Mumbai on March 8, will oversee a 12-strong investment team, reporting to Prateek Pant, head of products and solutions. 

Sharma was previously New Delhi-based CIO at Wodehouse Capital Advisors. He has also held portfolio management and financial analysis roles with New York-based hedge fund Sophis Investments, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley and Deloitte Consulting.

Sanctum earlier this month named Rory Tapner, previously chief executive of UK private bank Coutts, as chairman. The company is led by Shiv Gupta, formerly head of RBS’s Indian private banking business.

Wodehouse did not respond to queries about Sharma’s replacement. Its website still lists Sharma as CIO, a position he had held from 2011 until February this year, according to his LinkedIn page.

Other people news reported on AsianInvestor.net in the past week:

Pictet targets WFOE, multi-asset buildout