Weekly roundup of people news, May 21

Neuberger Berman hires Asia PE chief; Navis boosts HK team; Jih Sun recruits new GM; Acion takes on portfolio managers; Sidley Austin makes PE hire; and HK SFC names new non-executive director.
Weekly roundup of people news, May 21

Neuberger Berman hires Asia PE chief
Fund house Neuberger Berman has hired Kent Chen as Asia-Pacific head of private equity. Chen started in the newly-created position in Hong Kong on May 12.

Prior to joining the $251 billion AUM asset manager, Chen worked for the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) between 1998 and 2015 and was involved in establishing the authority’s PE investment programme in 2008. An HKMA spokesperson said that prior to his departure, Chen was senior manager for risk management and compliance. She confirmed that Chen’s role has been filled but declined to name his replacement.

Before joining HKMA, Chen was head of China research at Daiwa Securities in Hong Kong, focusing on infrastructure, energy and power equipment stocks.

In his new role, Chen reports locally to Nick Hoar, Neuberger Berman’s head of Asia Pacific, and functionally to Brien Smith, the Dallas-based head of the private investment portfolios group.

Navis boosts HK team with partner
Hugh Dyus joined Kuala Lumpur-based private equity firm Navis Capital Partners on April 1 as a partner in its Hong Kong office. The hire was announced this week.

Between April 2006 and June 2014 Dyus was head of Asia PE for Macquarie Funds Group until a management buyout of that business led to the formation of a separate company, ROC Partners. Before joining Macquarie, Dyus worked for PE firm PPM Ventures, and before that in M&A for Chase Manhattan Bank.

Navis reached final close of its $1.5 billion pan-Asia Fund VII earlier this year.

Jih Sun recruits new GM from Value Partners
Taiwan ‘s Jih Sun Securities Investment Trust Company (SITC) has appointed Mark Ko as the acting general manager, effective from May 18. Ko will become permanent general manager when Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission approves the move.

Lin Kun-liang, the former general manager, has resigned because of personal reasons and left the company on May 18.

Ko joins from Value Partners Concord Asset Management, a joint venture between Value Partners and Concord Securities, where he had been general manager since November 2011. Prior to that, Ko was general manager at Eastspring Investments in Taiwan since October 2005. He was also the general manager at AIG Investments from 2003 to 2005, before the firm was renamed PineBridge Investments in 2010.

Jih Sun SITC had a total of TW$82.5 billion ($2.7 billion) in AUM as of the end of April, with 3.88% of the onshore mutual fund market, according to Taiwan’s Securities Investment Trust and Consulting Association (SITCA). 

At Value Partners Concord, Chen Ming-liu, the director of corporate development at Hong Kong-based Value Partners group, will be acting general manager, while the firm is looking for a replacement for Ko. The firm had TW$670 million in AUM at the end of April, according to SITCA.

Acion takes on portfolio managers
Two portfolio managers – Toru Nakahashi and Hitesh Chetan Uttamchandani – joined Hong Kong-based Acion Partners on May 18 and May 12 respectively. The new hires come less than two months after the KKR-backed pan-Asia event-driven hedge fund started trading at the end of March.

Uttamchandani worked for Hong Kong-based structured credit investor Abax Global Capital between June 2007 and January 2015. Nakahashi previously worked as a Tokyo-based securities analyst, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Acion Partners was founded last year by Feng Hsiung, who set up York Capital Management’s Hong Kong office and worked for the firm between October 2007 and April 2014.

Sidley Austin boosts Singapore team
Charlie Wilson is set to join Sidley Austin’s Singapore office, according to a May 19 announcement from the law firm. A spokesperson said that Wilson’s official start date is yet to be confirmed. She added that Wilson will be an additional partner in the firm’s M&A and private equity practice and is not replacing anyone. Wilson joins from White & Case’s Singapore office.

At the same time, White & Case announced the appointment of Pradyumna Mysoor to its global M&A and India practices on May 18. Mysoor was hired as a Hong Kong-based partner at the end of March and joins from Linklaters.

SFC appoints non-executive director
Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has appointed Albert Au Siu-cheung as a non-executive director for a two-year term starting from May 26. Au replaces Wong Kai-man, who will have served as a non-executive director of the SFC from May 26, 2009, to May 25 this year. Au is the Hong Kong chairman of accounting firm BDO.

EMPEA appoints senior advisers
Kelly Williams and Sanjiv Kapur joined the Washington-based Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA) as senior advisors on May 20.

Kapur has been a partner at Wolfensohn Fund Management since 2006. Before that he was Asia PE head at Henderson Private Capital (2002-05) and private capital CIO at AMP Henderson Global Investors (1999-2001). He held various roles – including PE head – at the International Finance Corporation between 1989-1999, and has worked at HSBC (1986-89), AIG (1982-86) and the State Bank of India in New York (1981-1982).

Williams has a fund of private equity funds background with GCM Grosvenor (since 2014) and Credit Suisse (2000-2014).

Other people news reported by AsianInvestor over the past week:

New research lays bare gender bias in Asia AM

Diam makes push into Asia funds distribution


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