Weekly roundup of people news, May 12

China's new regulatory body gets chief; China Life Pension names new chairman; India's quasi SWF gets new CEO; Australian Super appoints Europe investments head; JPMAM's Greater China head relocates; and more.
Weekly roundup of people news, May 12


Li Yunze

China has named former vice governor of Sichuan province Li Yunze as head of its newly established financial regulatory body, National Financial Regulatory Administration, which will replace the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC).

Li, who spent 23 years at state-owned China Construction Bank, becomes party secretary -- the highest leadership position at a state institution -- of the new National Financial Regulatory Administration.

Unlike former CBIRC chairman Guo Shuqing, Li is a relatively low-profile name in China’s financial sector.

Li joined China Construction Bank after graduation in 1993, holding roles in asset preservation, finance, strategic planning and equity investment.

He left the bank in 2016 as the head of Chongqing branch and became vice president of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China until 2018.

Most recently, Li was the vice governor of Sichuan province in southwestern China.

Establishment of the new regulatory body, the National Financial Regulatory Administration, was announced during China’s annual plenary legislature meeting, or the Two Sessions, in March.

It will replace CBIRC and bring supervision of the industry, excluding the securities sector, into a body directly under the State Council. It will also cover certain functions of the People's Bank of China (PBOC) and the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).


Wang Junhui

China Life Pension Company, the subsidiary of China Life Insurance Group, appointed Wang Junhui as the new party secretary and chairman to succeed retired Cui Yong, state news outlet China Banking and Insurance News reported.

Wang was most recently the party secretary and president of China Life Asset Management Company, one of China’s largest asset management companies with over Rmb5 trillion ($720 billion) of assets under management.

Wang is a veteran in China’s asset management industry with nearly 30 years of experience.

He was with China Life for 20 years and became chief investment officer of China Life Insurance Group and president of China Life Asset Management Company in 2016.

Once Wang joins China Life Pension, the role president of China Life AMC will become vacant. 


National Investment and Infrastructure Fund Limited (NIIFL), India’s quasi-sovereign wealth fund, has appointed Rajiv Dhar as CEO and MD of NIIFL on an interim basis, effective May 11.

Rajiv Dhar

He is currently executive director and chief operating officer.

The planned succession follows incumbent Sujoy Bose's desire to step down as CEO -- a position he has held since 2016.

Dhar has been with NIIFL since 2017 and served on the investment committee for all funds managed by NIIFL.

Bose, as the entity’s first CEO, helped onboard more than 20 premier global and institutional investors and partners, ensuring the successful closure of the largest Indian Infrastructure Fund and the Fund of Funds with investments spanning across infrastructure and other sectors.


Carl Astorri

AustralianSuper has appointed Carl Astorri as its head of investments for Europe, a move announced at the end of last year as part of the asset owne restructuring its investment team.

Astorri has relocated to London and is responsible for the performance and process of the strategic asset allocation tilts and tactical asset allocation of AustralianSuper's portfolio across both public and private markets.

He has been with the super fund for the past eight years and was most recently head of allocation and research.

Astorri also sits on the board of ISPT, as a non-executive director of the A$20 billion property fund set up by Australia's largest pension funds.

Prior to joining Australian Super, he was head of investor scenario service at Oxford Economics. He has also worked at Barclays Wealth, Coutts UK and Bank of England.

He is the latest executive to relocate to the asset owner’s London office, as the fund continues to expand its offshore asset base.


Howard Wang

Howard Wang, managing director and head of the Greater China team within the emerging markets and Asia Pacific equities team in JP Morgan Asset Management (JPMAM) is relocating from Hong Kong to Taiwan, AsianInvestor understands.

As part of the relocation, effective 1 May 2023, Wang will join the firm’s Taiwan entity.

As a non-discretionary investment advisor, Wang will continue to work with JPMAM’s research analysts and portfolio managers. He will also provide investment advice to the named portfolio managers.

Wang is expected to continue working with JPMAM’s research analysts and portfolio managers, and provide investment advice.

He remains head of JPMAM’s Greater China team.


Jason Fong, a banking and asset management veteran, was appointed global head of family office at Invest Hong Kong in April.

Jason Fong

He will lead FamilyOfficeHong Kong, a department under Invest HK that is responsible for promoting Hong Kong as a preferred destination for family offices.

Fong is also a member of HKTDC Financial Services Advisory Committee and a Steering Committee member of Asian Financial Forum.

He succeeds Dixon Wong, head of financial services and former global head of family Office at InvestHK, a spokesperson told AsianInvestor.

No further details, such as Fong’s previous role or where he worked previously, were provided, 


Jim Roland

Federated Hermes has named Jim Roland as head of distribution for Asia-Pacific.

Roland will relocate from London to Singapore for the role and will report to Paul Uhlman, president of Federated Securities Corp, who oversees global distribution at the firm.

Roland will oversee the firm’s sales and distribution efforts across Asia Pacific including Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia and Japan.

He replaces Jakob Nilsson who will become head of private market sales, ex-North America.

Nilsson will relocate to London after 14 years in Singapore.

Prior to joining Federated Hermes in 2021, Roland held senior roles at Janus Henderson Investors for over seven years.


The government has appointed Syed Hamadah Syed Othman as the CEO and Group MD of Tabung Haji.

Syed Hamadah
Syed Othman

Syed Hamadah Syed Othman's appointment is effective May 6, replacing Sri Amrin Awaluddin who completed a two-year term of service as Group MD and CEO on May 5.

He was formerly a director and partner at Actuarial Partners Consulting. He was also CEO of Malaysian pension fund KWAP from 2018 to 2020.

Tabung Haji is a statutory government body which focuses on haj pilgrimage management, depository services and investment.


Rene Buehlmann

Rene Buehlmann will become sole CEO of abrdn’s investments business, effective May 11. He continues to report to Stephen Bird, group CEO of abrdn plc.

The move comes after Chris Demetriou decided to step down as co-CEO of the investment business. He will remain with the firm through a period of transition to ensure continuity, a spokesperson told AsianInvestor.

Buehlmann will be supported by Peter Branner, the new chief investment officer who joined in May from Dutch pension fund manager APG Asset Management, where he was chief investment officer.

Buehlmann will also be supported by Xavier Meyer, chief client officer who will oversee strategy in the UK & EMEA region.

Buehlmann will continue to lead abrdn's Asia Pacific business and is expected to split his time across abrdn's Asia offices. 

Buehlmann joined abrdn plc in March 2021 as Asia Pacific CEO and became co-CEO of the group’s investment business in June 2021.

Prior to this, he founded advisory firm ThinkBox Asia in Hong Kong in 2020 after leaving UBS Asset Management the same year.

He has also worked at UBS Wealth Management and UBS’s predecessor Union Bank of Switzerland.


Patrick Khong

Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing (HKEX) named Patrick Khong as managing director and co-head of data and analytics.

Working in partnership with Andy Shum as co-head of data and analytics, Khong will help drive HKEX’s data management strategy, oversee the group’s data governance and design, and help on data and analytics technology initiatives.

Khong has over two decades of experience delivering digital and data transformation in several banks and financial institutions.

He joins HKEX from Hang Seng Bank, where he was a managing director focusing on data analytics. Previously, he spent seven years at HSBC supporting its data governance and transformation.

HKEX did not respond to request for comment on his reporting line and whether the role is newly created.


Chris Lerner

Verse Holdings, a Singapore-based alternative investment company, appointed Chris Lerner as executive chairman.

In this role, Lerner reunites with his former team to lead the group that owns and operates Thrive Alternatives, where over the past two years he was a senior advisor; Asense Technologies, its software business; and a newly launched investment arm, Asia Heritage.

In addition to group-level responsibilities, Lerner will also lead the asset management business of the group and serve as CEO of Asia Heritage.

Lerner has over 20 years of experience in private market investments.

Verse Holdings didn’t respond to request for more details of the appointment.


Dubai-based alternatives investment and advisory platform Dalma Capital has named David Gibson-Moore as chairman of its board of directors.

David Gibson-Moore

Gibson-Moore will act as a spokesperson for the company and will help Dalma deepen its relationships with leading institutions and families in the Gulf and beyond.

There was a previous chairman in an interim capacity, a spokesperson for Dalma Capital said, without providing further details.

Gibson-Moore retains his current roles as president and CEO of Gulf Analytica and executive chairman and co-founder of Renaissance Fund Management in Thailand.

While Dalma Capital doesn't have a physical office in Asia, it serves a significant number of Asian clients, the spokesperson said.

It also has an outsourced CIO business, led by Gary Dugan, who was originally based in Singapore and has relocated to Dubai. A big chunk of his clients are in Asia, the spokesperson added.


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