MARK MOBIUS’S NEW FIRM ON HIRING SPREE

Mark Mobius is seeking investment staff to join his asset management company launched on May 2.

Headquartered in London, Mobius Capital Partners was co-founded by the emerging market guru and his two former colleagues at Franklin Templeton Investments, Carlos Hardenberg and Greg Konieczny.

The company will offer a specialised active investment approach with an emphasis on improving governance standards in emerging and frontier market corporations.

For now, it comprises the three founders and one operations staff member. It is hiring investment analysts now, a company spokesman said. AsianInvestor will publish an exclusive interview with Mobius in due course, which will reveal more about the company's hiring plans.

Mobius (picture left) retired from Franklin Templeton in January, while both Hardenberg and Konieczny left Franklin Templeton in March.

Hardenberg was London-based director of frontier strategy at Templeton Emerging Markets Group (TEMG) and portfolio manager of Templeton Emerging Markets Investment Trust (TEMIT). Bassel Khatoun, managing director and director of portfolio management for Frontier and Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and Chetan Sehgal, lead portfolio manager for TEMIT, have taken over his responsibilities after he left, a Franklin Templeton spokeswoman said.

Based in Bucharest, Romania, Konieczny was director of specialty strategies at TEMG. Johan Meyer, CEO of Franklin Templeton Investment Management Limited UK Bucharest Branch (FTIML), and Tek Khoan Ong, senior managing director and director of research in emerging market equity, have taken up Konieczny’s former duties, the spokeswoman added.

EASTSPRING REPLACES SINGAPORE CEO, MAKES OTHER TEAM CHANGES

Eastspring has appointed Ooi Boon Peng as chief executive officer for Singapore and regional fixed income officer.

He replaces previous chief executive Phil Stockwell, who will continue to focus on his other role as chief operating officer for Singapore, according to a media statement by Eastspring.

Peng was previously chief investment officer for fixed income for Singapore—a role that has now been taken over by Low Guan Yi.

Low was previously part of the fixed income team and the lead portfolio manager for pan-Asian local currency bonds portfolios, as well as single-country Philippines and Thai bond portfolios.

Eastspring declined to comment on whether Low would continue to manage the portfolios or whether a replacement would be announced.

Michele Bang will remain deputy chief executive but has relinquished her role as head of distribution, which has been taken over by Xavier Meyer. Meyer will continue to be head of product and partnerships, a spokeswoman for Eastspring confirmed to AsianInvestor.

Bang will focus on her role as deputy chief executive and be responsible for leading digital initiatives across Eastspring. The spokeswoman declined comment on who Bang or Meyer report to.

The spokeswoman said all the changes came into effect last month.

MANULIFE PROVIDENT FUNDS TRUST CEO TO RETIRE

Manulife International’s senior vice-president and head of employee benefits, Luzia Hung, is retiring on July 1, a company spokeswoman confirmed to AsianInvestor.

Hung will also step down as chief executive officer of Manulife Provident Funds Trust Company.

She joined Manulife in 2010 as vice-president of employee benefits, which covers the pension and group life and health insurance businesses.

Ellen Leung, now a senior executive on the employee benefits team, will be promoted to vice-president and succeed Hung as chief executive of Manulife Provident Funds Trust Company, subject to regulatory approval, the spokeswoman said.

Raymond Ng, another senior executive on the employee benefits team, will be promoted to vice-president and head of employee benefits for Manulife (International), responsible for developing business and sales strategies to drive the growth of the employee benefits business, the spokeswoman said.

Both Leung and Ng have been members of the employee benefits management team since they joined Manulife in 2011.

DAVID LIM REJOINS CREDIT SUISSE

Credit Suisse has appointed David Lim as vice-chairman for Southeast Asia private banking, effective May 7.

Lim rejoins the private bank after working for Julius Baer for more than 12 years, with his most recent position being vice-chairman Southeast Asia, based Singapore.

At Credit Suisse, Lim will report to Benjamin Cavalli, head of private banking for Southeast Asia and chief executive of Singapore.

In his previous stint with Credit Suisse, Lim worked as head of solution partners, leading the business that served ultra-high-net-worth clients across private investments and capital solutions.

Credit Suisse has other vice-chairmen across different businesses in various locations. The private bank also has another vice-chairman for private banking in Southeast Asia—Julie Kan—and Lim’s role is an addition, a spokeswoman told AsianInvestor.

Julius Baer does not plan to replace Lim. 

BNP PARIBAS WM APPOINTS NEW APAC INVESTMENT SERVICES HEAD

BNP Paribas Wealth Management named Garth Bregman as its head of investment services for Asia Pacific in early April, a spokeswoman confirmed to AsianInvestor.

He replaces Arnaud Tellier who has been appointed Southeast Asia head at the wealth firm.

Tellier took over from Ricardo Sanchez-Moreno, who is returning France to a role with BNP Paribas, the spokeswoman said. She did not provide further details.

Bregman was previously head of BNP Paribas Wealth Management's discretionary portfolio management for Asia.

“We are still in the process of announcing Bregman’s replacement,” the spokeswoman added.

UBS BULKS UP UHNW TEAM FOR CHINA

UBS Global Wealth Management has hired one senior executive and internally promoted two for its ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) team for China.  

Effective May 2, Bryce Wan, Jenny Su and Zhang Xin have joined three other existing country team heads to become the country team heads for UHNW for China. Wan and Zhang are based in Hong Kong, while Su is based in Singapore. All report to Francis Liu, Hong Kong-based regional market manager for UHNW in Greater China.

Wan (pictured) was previously a managing director and private wealth advisor at Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management, a position he left in January. Goldman Sachs declined to comment further on his departure.

Su and Zhang were previously desk heads within the team. Their replacements will be announced in due course, a UBS spokeswoman said.

The three are regarded as new appointments in addition to the three existing country heads. Nobody holding the position of country team head had left the firm in the last two years, she added.

HP WEALTH MANAGEMENT HIRES EX-DEUTSCHE SPECIALIST

HP Wealth Management, an independent asset manager in Singapore, has hired Mark Smallwood as a wealth structuring and client adviser as it expands its offerings to high-net-worth individuals and family offices.

The provision of wealth structuring advice will complement the IAM’s asset management work in both public and private markets, HP Wealth said in a statement.

Smallwood, based in Singapore, was previously at Deutsche Bank Wealth Management as a managing director and member of the executive committee and management committee.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Smallwood had been at Deutsche Bank since 2003 in various roles, across Singapore and Hong Kong. He left in early 2017, a spokeswoman for Deutsche Bank Wealth Management said. She did not provide further details.

Smallwood’s LinkedIn profile says that he joined Confidentem Private Office in Singapore between June 2017 and April 2018, but AsianInvestor was not able to immediately contact the firm.

HP Wealth Management was founded in 2009 by Urs Brutsch and manages money on a discretionary and advisory basis for clients, mainly based in Asia.

JP MORGAN AM HIRES ASIA BETA STRATEGIES HEAD

US asset manager JP Morgan Asset Management has appointed Philippe El-Asmar as head of Asia beta strategies.

El-Asmar started his role in November 2017, a JP Morgan spokeswoman said. He is responsible for driving the firm’s Asian beta strategies, including strategic and alternative beta strategies and factor-based investing for institutional and retail clients.

He also oversees the development of regional ETF product strategy and design, as well as introducing JP Morgan’s existing global beta strategies funds to Asian clients.

El-Asmar is based in Hong Kong, and reports to Michael Camacho, global head of beta strategies.

The role is newly created. Prior to El-Asmar’s hire, JP Morgan Asset Management did not have a beta strategy client specialist on the ground in Asia, the spokeswoman said.

Most recently, he was chief executive and founder of Amareos, a financial news analytics firm. Amareos did not respond to AsianInvestor queries on El-Asmar’s exit date or his replacement.

M&G ASIA INVESTMENT DIRECTOR DEPARTS

Jeik Sohn, most recently an investment director for Asia at M&G Investments, is no longer with the firm, having left it to join US fund house Capital Group, an M&G spokeswoman said.

Capital Group declined to comment on Sohn’s role, his start date, who he reports to, and who he is replacing.

M&G Investments declined to comment on his exit date and whether a replacement has been announced yet.

WEST 22ND CAPITAL HIRES MD

Single family office West 22nd Capital has hired Lenny Chen as managing director and head of strategic investments.

She took up her role on April 1 and is based in Hong Kong.  Chen reports to Jeffrey Lin and Chris Shen, co-managing partners at the company, and manages a team of four. This is a newly created role as the company expands the team and builds out investing capabilities, a company spokesman said.

Chen was previously the co-founder of Immensus Capital, and before that a principal at the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board, according to her LinkedIn profile.

AMP NAMES BOARD CHAIRMAN

Australian financial services firm AMP Ltd has appointed David Murray as independent, non-executive chairman of the AMP board of directors.

The appointment will be effective after the annual general meeting on May 10, on or before July 1, an AMP spokeswoman said.

Murray will oversee the redevelopment of governance processes at AMP, including board renewal processes and the appointment of an additional non-executive director. He will also co-lead the search process for a chief executive alongside Mike Wilkins, the current chairman of the board.

Craig Meller stepped down as chief executive last month after the Financial Services Royal Commission investigation into AMP found that the Australian firm had been charging customers fees without providing service, as well as providing inappropriate advice to customers.

Wilkins will take on the position of acting chief executive when Murray starts his role as board chairman. Upon the appointment of a new chief executive, Wilkins will return to his role as a non-executive director.

Other people news reported by AsianInvestor in the past week:

MetLife IM adds to insto team; BNP Paribas AM in staff rejig