UBS GAM hires Asia marketing head
Lydia Lee is set to join UBS Global Asset Management as Singapore-based Asia-Pacific head of marketing in July. The Swiss bank created a dedicated regional marketing function for the GAM arm earlier in 2015 and Lee’s role is new.

She reports to Hong Kong-based Rene Buehlmann, the firm’s head of global asset management for Asia-Pacific, as well as the interim global head of marketing for UBS GAM, Zurich-based Derek Beckman.

In an internal memo seen by AsianInvestor, Buehlmann explained that Lee would lead the build-up of the Hong Kong and Singapore marketing teams directly and “was instrumental in establishing the marketing and communications platform within the region” for Aberdeen Asset Management, where she joined from. A spokeswoman for the Aberdeen AM confirmed that Lee has left the firm but declined to comment on her replacement.

KKR’s Asia head relocating to US
KKR Asia chief Joseph Bae is moving to New York, reviving speculation that he is being groomed to become co-CEO of the alternative asset manager.

In news which only emerged late last week, KKR sent a notice to limited partners in its Asia I and Asia II funds on April 16. That notice informed LPs that Bae – KKR Asia’s managing partner – would have an office in New York following his family’s relocation to New York to enrol their children in middle school in the city in September this year. KKR’s co-CEOs and co-chairmen Henry Kravis and George Roberts are over 70 years old. A spokesman for KKR said that he understood the speculation but didn’t think it was a natural conclusion.

He added that Bae “had an office in Hong Kong and now has one in New York” and that there were no changes in responsibilities with the move. Bae continues as KKR Asia’s managing partner while the co-heads of Asia private equity – David Liu and Ming Lu – continue to report to Bae.

The LP notice stated: “Scott Bookmyer will also continue to serve as chief operating officer for KKR Asia to manage and oversee our expanding platform in the region”.

Bae originally relocated from New York to Hong Kong in 2005, spearheading the launch of Asia I – the firm’s first Asia fund – in 2007.

Capital makes senior sales hires
Capital Group announced two sales and distribution hires on May 26. Andrew Hwang and Berry Hsieh have been appointed directors of strategic solutions for Korea and Taiwan respectively. Both report to Andrew Economos, senior vice-president for Asia strategic solutions at the $1.4 trillion AUM manager, and started in the new roles on May 11.

Previously, Korea and Taiwan sales were covered by “long-term staff who have been with Capital Group for more than ten years and were assigned coverage by a combination of geography and market segments,” said a Capital spokeswoman. Dedicated sales roles for the two countries are newly-created.

Hwang joined from Janus Capital where he was responsible for non-Japan Asia business development. Prior to that, he held a product development and strategy role at BNY Mellon Asset Management.

A spokeswoman for Janus Capital said that Hwang left the firm on April 28, and that Janus was "currently in the process of identifying his replacement". Hsieh joined from Robeco where she was vice-president for Greater China sales. A spokeswoman for Robeco said that the asset manager will hire a replacement for her role. Prior to Robeco, Hsieh worked for Capital Investment Trust Corporation and Citibank in Taiwan.

Ariel opens Sydney office
Asset manager Ariel Investments has opened its first offshore office in Sydney and hired Ian Webber to lead its Asia-Pacific expansion. Webber joined Ariel as senior vice-president and head of Asia Pacific on March 30, and opened the office in mid-May. Webber reports to Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments.

The firm will initially market products to Australian and Asian institutional investors, the US-based firm said. Webber said that initially the office will be staffed by just himself, but over time he hoped to build a small team.

Webber previously worked at Artio Global Investors between June 2011 and July 2013, where he was director of institutional investments and sales for Asia Pacific in the US firm’s Sydney office. Prior to that, Webber was head of Australia and New Zealand for Axa Rosenberg Investment Management between February 2007-September 2010.

Headquartered in Chicago, Ariel has $10.7 billion in AUM.

OMGI boosts Asia sales team
Asset manager Old Mutual Global Investors has hired Allen Chiu as a senior sales manager in its Hong Kong office. Chiu, who joined OMGI on May 18, reports to Kylie Chan, head of sales for Asia.

He will be responsible for developing relationships with local distributors and global financial institutions in Asia, along with a focus on rolling out OMGI’s Asian distribution plans.

Prior to joining OMGI, Chiu was a managed product specialist within the portfolio management group (investor relations) at JP Morgan Private Bank. Chiu also worked at Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking as a sales analyst on the private bank sales desk.

In March, OMGI announced it had hired an Asia business veteran to advise on its regional expansion. Shanghai-based Simon MacKinnon joined the company as a strategic advisor.

MacKinnon’s appointment followed OMGI’s creation last October of an Asian equities team headed by Josh Crabb and the recruitment the following month of specialist China equities portfolio manager Diamond Lee, as reported.

H2 creates Sydney fintech office
Fintech accelerator H2 Ventures has opened a Sydney office in a bid to complete 100 start-up investments over the next three years. Ben Heap and Toby Heap will staff the office as principals in Stone and Chalk, Sydney’s financial technology hub. The firm is targeting investments in disruptive financial technology firms, and the business will go fully live when the initial round of applications from start-ups closes at the end of June.

The financial services technology design and investment house was launched earlier this month by the Heap brothers, who previously worked at Australasian Wealth Investments (AWI) for 18 months until leaving on March 31. Ben Heap was managing director of AWI, while Toby Heap was CEO of AWI Ventures. A team of four have joined the firm from AWI - Simran Gambhir is technology lead at H2, while Liz Broekhuyse is design lead. The two other members of staff – general mentors - cannot be named due to contractual obligations from their previous employer.

Ben Heap told AsianInvestor that as H2 aimed to take 10% stakes worth A$100,000, a total of A$10,000,000 ($7.7 million) of funding was needed. Heap said H2 was in fundraising talks and hoped to complete it over the next six months.

Edelweiss takes on PE chief
Indian financial services firm Edelweiss Financial Services announced Pranav Parikh’s appointment as head of private equity, seed and venture capital funds. A spokeswoman for the firm said that the firm has “recently started” an alternatives business. “We believe growth will remain strong for the next few years,” she said, adding that Parikh is presently travelling in Europe, continuing fundraising efforts.

Like Ash Pithawala, COO of Edelweiss' alternatives business, Parikh’s most recent full-time role was with $1.6 billion AUM alternative investment manager Q-Investments’ local subsidiary, Q-India Investment Advisors. Parikh was managing director of Q-India Investment Advisors between 2006-12 and before that (2000-06) worked as a Texas-based portfolio manager with Q-Investments.

Other people news reported by AsianInvestor over the past week:

Lyxor AM appoints new head of Asia

UBS quits Australia wealth management market

PwC opens fund centre for cross-border distributors