NIIF APPOINTS CIO OF PE VEHICLE

India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), a quasi-sovereign wealth fund, appointed Padmanabh Sinha as executive director and chief investment officer of its direct private equity vehicle, the NIIF Strategic Opportunities Fund (SOF). The appointment is effective May 17.

Sinha will be the first CIO of SOF, which is still in fundraising mode. The fund has already made a few investments, which a spokesperson said were directed by the fund's partners. She added all investment decisions at NIIF are made by the investment committee, comprising the senior management team.

Sinha reports to Sujoy Bose, managing director and chief executive officer. Both are based in Mumbai.

Sinha is a former managing partner at Tata Opportunities Fund, which he left in May 2020 to form an India-focused growth stage investing platform known as LaunchBay Capital. Prior to joining Tata Opportunities Fund, he was the managing partner for India at Temasek Holdings and also served as vice president at ICICI Venture.

Earlier in May, NIIF also appointed former Morgan Stanley executive director Ami Momaya as partner. 

KOREA MILITARY PENSION HIRES NEW CIO

Lee Sang-hee

South Korea’s Military Mutual Aid Association has hired Lee Sang-hee as its new chief investment officer.

Effective May 20, he will serve for a three-year term. Previously, Lee was the CIO of Korean insurer Lotte Non-Life Insurance for six years. Prior to that, he was chief representative officer in the US for Samsung Life Insurance.

MMAA is the pension fund for military service personnel and civilian employees, which had W12.7 trillion ($11.43 billion) of assets as of 2020.

Lee is taking over the role from Kim Jae-dong, who retired after his term ended in March, MMAA said in a statement.

MANULIFE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT NAMES NEW HEAD OF REAL ASSETS

Manulife Investment Management on Tuesday (May 18) announced that it has named Christoph Schumacher as global head of real assets, private markets.

Christoph Schumacher

In this newly created position, Schumacher will be responsible for defining the firm’s private real assets strategy and managing the operations and development, launch, and growth of investment solutions for clients across the globe.

Schumacher will oversee $42.9 billion AUM globally and the heads of each of Manulife’s real asset teams will report directly to him. He reports to global head of private markets Steve Blewitt, and plans to relocate to Boston from Zurich.

Previously, Schumacher served as global head of real estate and managing director at Credit Suisse Asset Management for four years.

ALLIANZ GI NAMES NEW GLOBAL MULTI ASSET CIO

Gregor Hirt

Allianz Global Investors (AllianzGI) has appointed Gregor Hirt as global CIO for multi asset investments.

Hirt is joining the firm on July 1 and will be based in Frankfurt, where he will report to Deborah Zurkow, global head of investments at AllianzGI.

He succeeds Thomas Zimmerer, who sadly passed away while in the position in November 2020. He had originally joined AllianzGI as global head of product specialists for multi-asset in 2014.

Hirt is joining AllianzGI from Deutsche Bank, where he has been global head of discretionary portfolio management since 2019. Prior to that, he was group chief strategist and head of multi asset solutions at Vontobel Asset Management.

Deutsche Bank confirmed the departure of Hirt and said it will announce his replacement in due course.

JP MORGAN PRIVATE BANK APPOINTS CHINA MARKET LEADER

JP Morgan Private Bank on Tuesday (May 18) announced the appointment of Elaine Zhang as China market leader. She will be a managing director and responsible for leading, growing and developing the firm’s China market in Singapore.

Zhang will be based in Singapore and report to James Wey, head of Singapore and Southeast Asia, for the US private bank. She is expected to start the new role in August.

The senior hire will drive and grow China market franchise for Singapore, the private bank said in a press release.

Zhang has more than 20 years of experience in the private banking industry. She most recently was a market leader for Greater China in Singapore at Credit Suisse, where she served for more than a decade. Prior to Credit Suisse, she served in banking roles at American Express Private Banking (acquired by Standard Chartered), DBS Bank and Bank of China. 

CREDIT SUISSE NAMES TWO NORTH ASIA PRIVATE BANKERS

Lock Keng Cheong

Credit Suisse hired multiple private bankers for its North Asia unit, confirmed by the bank. 

In Singapore, the bank appointed veteran Lock Keng Cheong as market group head, private banking Greater China Singapore. He had first joined Credit Suisse in 2007.

A spokeswoman told AsianInvestor that the role is newly created and Lock continues to report to Francois Monnet, head of private banking North Asia and chief executive of Credit Suisse Hong Kong.

Thomas Ang

The bank is also relocating Thomas Ang, head of family office services Asia Pacific, to Hong Kong from Singapore in June.

Ang will continue to report to Bernard Fung, head of wealth planning services Asia Pacific.

In addition to his current responsibilities in South Asia, Ang will be tasked with more quickly developing the bank’s wealth planning services platform in Hong Kong.