Korea’s NPS names new CIO
Korea’s National Pension Service has named Hong Wan-son as its new chief investment officer, with effect from Monday, November 4, according to local media reports.

Hong replaces Lee Chan-woo, whose term expired in October, and will serve a two-year term, with the possibility of a year’s extension.

Competition was reportedly fierce for the post, with 22 applying, including some foreign nationals.

NPS, the world’s third largest state retirement fund with $370 billion under management, began the search on August 27. It shortlisted nine candidates on September 11, before coming down to a final short list of three.

NPS confirmed the appointment but did not provide further details by press time.

Hong was most recently vice chief executive at Hana Bank, overseeing capital markt investments, a position he had held since 2010. Before that, he was vice CEO of Hana Daetoo Securities since 2009 and had worked at Hana Bank since 1992, covering areas such as investment trust and custody.

Northern Trust AM reshuffles global equity heads
Northern Trust Asset Management has made two senior promotions with a view to improving consistency and collaboration across the equity investment teams globally.

Nick Dymond, head of the international equity index portfolio management team in London, will see his role expanded to lead the PM teams in Chicago, Hong Kong, London and Tokyo. The aim is to ensure consistent practices globally.

Meanwhile, Matthew Peron, formerly managing director for active equity, has been named managing director of global equity, overseeing both active and index equity teams.

This follows the recent resignation of Chad Rakvin, director of global equity index management, to pursue other opportunities.

Peron’s role is a newly created one based in the Northern Trust’s Chicago headquarters and aimed at fostering more collaboration across the active and index equity teams. These run $407 billion out of total assets under management of $846 billion.

CLSA Capital Partners hires water specialist
CLSA Capital Partners, the asset management arm of brokerage CLSA, has hired Richard Woodling as an operating partner.

Woodling started on October 1 in Singapore and focuses on the firm’s Clean Resources Asia Growth Fund. In addition to advising the fund’s underlying companies, he also works directly with CLSA’s portfolio managers to identify water companies for potential future investment, a spokeswoman says.

He reports to Peter Kennedy, head of the Clean Resources Asia Growth Fund, and his position is new, the spokeswoman adds.

Before joining CLSA, Woodling worked at the Siemens Water R&D Centre in Singapore as director of global research and development. Siemens did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

Barclays poaches JP Morgan veteran
Barclays has hired JP Morgan executive David Fernandez as Asia-Pacific head of fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC) research based in Singapore.

The 15-year JP Morgan veteran joined Barclays on October 28 to oversee the FICC teams spanning emerging Asia, Japan and Australia. He reports to Jon Scoffin, Asia-Pacific head of research. His position is newly created, with the responsibilities previously coming under Scoffin's remit.

Fernandez was a chief economist and head of market strategy for emerging Asia at JP Morgan, most recently in Singapore and before that in New York, and left the US bank in July.

He previously worked in academia and the public sector. Fernandez was an assistant professor in the economics department at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC and served as an economist under former US president George HW Bush and at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Jahangir Aziz will assume Fernandez’s responsibilities at JP Morgan. Aziz, previously chief economist for India based in Washington, DC, will relocate to Singapore later this month.

Before joining JP Morgan in 2008, Aziz served as the principal economic adviser to India's Ministry of Finance, and also worked at the International Monetary Fund for 12 years, serving as head of the China division from 2004-2007.

BoA-Merrill reshuffles Japan equities leadership
Bank of America-Merrill Lynch has changed the leadership of its Japan equities team, promoting head of Japan equities trading Eugene Iwami to sole head of the division.

Iwami takes over from Paddy Hogan, who has run the business for the last six years. Hogan is moving to New York to handle the US side of the Japan sales business and to increase financing revenues from US clients active in Asia.

BoA-Merrill’s equities team in Japan previously had a co-head structure, with Hogan running things alongside Hiroyuki Kaneda, who will now become vice-chairman of Japan equities.

After years of torpor, Japan’s stock market has risen steadily in the last year – ever since Shinzo Abe announced his commitment to aggressively ease monetary policy, known as Abenomics.

The rally has attracted international investors back to Japan and given banks a reason to start hiring again. BofA-Merrill has added 12 to its Japan equity sales and trading team since June, including current head of Japan equity distribution and former Morgan Stanley banker Stephen O’Shea.

In his newly expanded role Iwami, who joined BoA-Merrill in New York in 1994, will remain the firm's head of Japan equities trading, reporting to regional head of equities trading Arnaud Droitcourt.

Kaneda’s role is a new position. He will focus on enhancing the bank's key relationships with domestic clients in Japan and growing the business.

Both Iwami and Kaneda will report to Olivier Thiriet, head of Asia-Pacific equities, and Jiro Seguchi, BoA Merrill’s country executive for Japan.

Aussie custody body appoints chair
The Australian Custodial Services Association (Acsa), the custody and investment administration body, has named JP Morgan’s David Braga as chair, effective this month.

Based in Sydney, Braga will succeed incumbent Acsa chair Pierre Jond of BNP Paribas, who is moving back to Paris with the bank later this year. Jond was chair of Acsa for two years. BNP Paribas did not provide details of Jond’s new role by press time.

Braga will continue in his role as head of product for JP Morgan’s investor services division in Sydney. He has been an active participant and member of Acsa’s executive committee since 2011.

In addition, Christine Bartlett, executive general manager of asset servicing at National Australia Bank, has been elected to Acsa deputy chair. She takes over from Paul Khoury of State Street, who stepped down on October 28 after two years as deputy chair.

Other people news reported in AsianInvestor this week:

Jupiter flags retail strategy, plans Asia funds

Beonca Yip joins Investec to lead distribution plans

Singapore tipped to be major alt services hub