M&G Investments has appointed Alex Jeffrey as head of Asia Pacific, starting in the second quarter of 2018. The company did not specify an exact date.

All local offices – Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul – will report to Jeffrey, who will relocate to Singapore from London for the new role.

He will report to Anne Richards, chief executive of M&G. This is a newly created position and earlier all business units in Asia had functional reporting lines to London teams.

Jeffrey was previously based in Singapore between 2010 and 2012 as chief investment officer for MGPA, a private equity firm that was acquired by BlackRock in 2013.

He is now chief executive of M&G Real Estate – a position he will step down from as he assumes the role of Apac chief.

Simon Pilcher, chief executive of M&G’s institutional fixed income business, will take on additional board level responsibility for M&G Real Estate, supported by its senior management team.

The leadership structure of the business will be decided by Jeffrey and Pilcher, a spokeswoman for the company added.


Axa Investment Managers has promoted Laurent Jacquemin to head of Asia Pacific for its real assets business, effective January 1.

Jacquemin (pictured), now Europe head of transactions for the French firm, will be based at the real assets unit's newly relocated Asian hub in Tokyo, reporting to head of separate accounts Laurent Lavergne.

He will be responsible for all of the unit's operations in the region, overseeing investment, asset management and capital raising activities. Jacquemin will also join the real assets unit's extended management board.

The relocation of the Asian hub to Tokyo from its former base in Singapore is driven by a need to better maximise resources in the region, the company said in a statement.

Frank Khoo, the current head of Asia Pacific, is leaving the firm to remain in Singapore to pursue other business interests, a spokesman said.

Before becoming Europe head of transactions, Jacquemin held a variety of executive roles at Axa, according to his LinkedIn profile.

John O’Driscoll, most recently chief executive of corporate finance and head of mergers and acquisitions for Europe, Middle East and Africa at global real estate advisory firm JLL, will replace Jacquemin as European head of transactions, effective January 1.


VP Bank’s head of private banking  for Singapore, Andrew Tjia, is stepping down in January, a spokesman confirmed to AsianInvestor.

His replacement has not been announced yet. 

In January this year, the group had appointed Bruno Morel, previously with CIC, as chief executive officer for the private bank in Singapore.The private bank has around 50 employees in Asia.


Goldman Sachs this week announced the names of 509 executives who will become managing directors on January 1, 2018. Of those, 82 are based in Asia Pacific, of whom 10 are in the bank’s asset management (AM) or private wealth management (PWM) units. The 10 are as follows, in alphabetical order:

  • Daphne Chan, head of Southeast Asia institutional sales at GSAM in Singapore
  • Lily Chan, executive director covering alternatives investments at GS PWM in Hong Kong
  • Hiren Dasani, co-head of emerging-markets equity at GSAM in Singapore
  • Jennifer Feng, executive director and private wealth adviser in Hong Kong
  • Andrew Fong, executive director and private wealth adviser at GS PWM in Hong Kong
  • Eugene Kim, executive director on the Korea institutional team at GSAM in Hong Kong
  • Anne McCosker, executive director for private banking lending at Goldman PWM in Hong Kong
  • Salman Niaz, emerging market debt portfolio manager at GSAM in Singapore
  • Ichiro Kosuge, head of Japan equity at GSAM in Tokyo
  • Masahiro Uchiyama, executive director on the quantitative strategies investment team at GSAM in Tokyo


BNY Investment Management (BNY IM) has hired a sales director and business development executive for its China business.

Effective October 16, Lydia Wu took over as Hong Kong-based institutional sales director for China at BNY Mellon IM, while Gigi Wang took up the role of Shanghai-based business development manager for China on October 23.

Wu is responsible for building client relationships while Wang is responsible for the broader business development effort in the mainland.

The two report to Jessie Zhang, Hong Kong-based head of institutional distribution for Greater China and Southeast Asia.

These are new roles; Jessie Zhang was covering these areas before the two come on board, a spokeswoman for BNY Mellon said.

Wu was previously Hong Kong-based vice-president of institutions for China at State Street Global Advisors, a position she left in October. SSGA is now conducting a search for her replacement, according to a spokeswoman.

Wang was previously the institutional business development director at Bosera Asset Management. The company declined to comment on her departure.

BNY Mellon IM manages $90 billion in Asia Pacific including Japan.


Swiss bank J. Safra Sarasin has appointed Bellen Chang as managing director on its ultra-high-net-worth team.

Effective November 3, Chang (pictured) will work on the client advisory side with a special focus on clients in the Philippines.

She is based in Hong Kong and will report to chief executive of ultra high net worth, Asia, Vinay Gandhi, as well as chief executive of Asia Enid Yip. Chang is an additional hire, a bank spokeswoman said.

Chang was most recently from UBS, where she was executive director and client advisor on the Philippines team. Prior to that, she was a client relationship manager covering the Philippines market at American Express Bank.

UBS did not respond to requests for comment on Chang's departure by press time.


JP Morgan Private Bank has set up a China desk in Singapore and hired Stella Lau in the new role of team head.

Lau, who joins from UBS, will report to Hong Kong-based Grace Lin, head of the China market at the private bank.

At UBS, Lau was head of ultra-high-net-worth clients in Greater China and Singapore.

A spokesperson for JP Morgan Private Bank declined to comment on the composition of the China team. 

UBS did not respond to requests for comment on Lau's departure by press time.


Annie Shum, senior director for institutional business at Value Partners, has left the Hong Kong-based asset manager, having worked there since 2011.

Her licences for asset management, advisory and dealing with the firm ceased on October 31, according to records from Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission.

Value Partners did not respond to queries from AsianInvestor by press time on whether a replacement had been found.


Privé, a fintech solutions provider for the wealth management industry, has appointed Bert-Jan van Essen as its chief technology officer, Dominic Gamble as chief digital officer and Dennis Kow as senior country manager for Singapore, effective November 10.

Van Essen was previously chief executive officer at Dragon Wealth Asia, a fintech startup he founded in 2012. A spokesperson did not say what would happen to DragonWealth Asia.

He replaces co-founder Julian Schillinger, who has become CEO of Prive Services, the entity that owns Prive.

Van Essen has also worked with Credit Suisse earlier.

Gamble’s new role comes after Privé’s acquisition of Wealth, an online wealth services marketplace for affluent and high net worth individuals, in October.

Gamble founded Wealth in 2016, and will continue to serve as CEO of the online platform.

Gamble has previously worked at Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank.

Finally, Kow joins from Citibank, where his last role was senior vice-president of regional wealth management sales tools. Charles Wong, also a co-founder at Prive, used to oversee Singapore operations earlier. 

Citi did not respond to queries from AsianInvestor by press time.


Asset and wealth management firm Northern Trust has hired Danielle Henderson as it expands its Asia-Pacific market advocacy and innovation research group.

After taking up her role on October 16, Henderson will be responsible for implementing market advocacy and innovation research activities in the APAC region. The company said the role was newly created in response to continued growth across the region, and to expand the MA&IR services.

She will be based out of Sydney, driving interaction with key industry bodies, regulators, and governments to influence market changes that line up with Northern Trust’s strategic direction.

Henderson was most recently a consultant at Kairos Enterprises, advocating for market infrastructure development in the Australian securities industry.

She was also general manager for ASX’s clearing services, chief executive of Berndale Securities, director of global markets finance and futures at Bank of America Merill Lynch, head of relationship management for prime brokerage at BNP Paribas and chief operating officer of BNP Paribas Peregrine Securities, according to her LinkedIn profile.


State Street Corporation announces its succession plan as its senior leaders are retiring.

Ron O’Hanley (pictured), now president and CEO of investment arm State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), takes up three roles in State Street Corporation. O’Hanley will succeed Jay Hooley to become the CEO after the latter retires by end 2018. Meanwhile, effective immediately, he is also named president and COO, succeeding Mike Rogers who is going to retire end of this year.

Hooley is both the CEO and chairman of State Street, but is going to step down as CEO by end 2018 and chairman in 2019.

Cyrus Taraporevala, head of the global institutional group at SSGA, will take over from O’Hanley to become SSGA’s new president and CEO.

State Street has not commented on who will become its chairman after Hooley’s retirement, and who will succeed Taraporevala to become the head of the global institutional group at SSGA. All the positions are based in the US.

Separately, effective October 30, Johnnie Yung was appointed Hong Kong-based head of portfolio strategists for Asia ex-Japan for SSGA. He reports to Jonathan Shead, head of portfolio strategists in Asia Pacific, who is based in Australia. 

Yung has replaced Mark Valadao who left SSGA to pursue other opportunities, according to a company spokeswoman.

Yung most recently served as director in index portfolio management for BlackRock, a position he left on June 6. It is understood that the company has replaced him with an internal transfer.

State Street Corporation had $2.7 trillion in AUM as of September 30.


Franklin Templeton Investments has appointed a senior executive to lead global distribution.

Effective December 1, Jed Plafker becomes executive vice-president of global advisory services at the investment company.

Plafker was executive managing director, international advisory services before the promotion. The previously internationally-focused role will now expand to include US distribution, meaning he will oversee the company’s distribution efforts, marketing and product strategy across the globe.

Plafker reports to Jenny Johnson, president and chief operating officer, both before and after his promotion. Both of them are based in the company headquarters in San Mateo, California.

Tom Regner, head of US retail and institutional distribution, has announced plans to retire sometime in mid-2018, according to a company spokesman.

The US fund house had $753 billion in assets under management as of September 30.

Other people news reported by AsianInvestor in the past week:

Fidelity International CIO John Ford steps down

JP Morgan AM adds in sales, loses one to Invesco