Weekly roundup of people news, Nov 2

Fidelity taps Pinebridge for Asia head; Kwap gets new chief, CIO; Allianz GI sets up Asia private credit team; Aberdeen Standard adds to China team; Vanguard promotes China head, and more.
Weekly roundup of people news, Nov 2


Fidelity International has hired Rajeev Mittal as managing director for Asia Pacific ex-Japan, to replace Mark Talbot, who retired in June this year.


Mittal will start in the Hong Kong-based role on January 16 and report to Anne Richards, London-based chief executive of the Fidelity International, a company spokeswoman said.

He is currently the Hong Kong-based chief executive for Asia Pacific at Pinebridge Investments, a position he will leave in mid-December.

“We have commenced a search for a new regional CEO and will announce further details in due course,” a company spokeswoman at Pinebridge said.

Mittal will work closely with Greg Ehret, New York-based chief executive for PineBridge, and the leadership team during the transition period. The company does not anticipate any changes to the current organisational structure or strategy, the spokeswoman added.


Malaysian civil servants' pension fund Kwap has appointed Syed Hamadah Othman as its new chief executive, effective November 1, replacing Wan Kamaruzaman Wan Ahmed.

Wan Kamaruzaman is stepping down from the role having held it since May 2013.

Wan Kamaruzaman

Syed Hamadah was previously a director with Actuarial Partners Consulting based in Kuala Lumpur. There he led the pension business and specialised in consulting on issues including pension funding and accounting, mergers and acquisitions, pension scheme design, pension reform and training.

AsianInvestor was unable to ascertain whether he will continue to work with the consulting firm.

Kwap also appointed its director of fixed investment, Encik Azmeen bin Adnan, as its new chief investment officer effective November 1, a spokesman told AsianInvestor.

Previous CIO Nik Amlizan Mohamed left last month and was appointed CEO of Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT), also known as the Armed Forces Fund Board. She replaced Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin, who resigned on September 7. 

Kwap is also set to undergo an organisational revamp, which will include the creation of a deputy chief executive position, according to media reports in September.

These moves come amid various leadership changes at government-linked investment companies and regulatory bodies, including Employees Provident Fund, under Prime Minister Mohamad Mahatir's new administration.


Allianz Global Investors has established an private credit team in Singapore by hiring two executives from collapsed private equity firm Abraaj.

Sumit Bhandari

The desk, launched in late October, is headed by Sumit Bhandari as managing director and also includes Yun Weizhong as director. Yun reports to Bhandari, who in turn reports to Deborah Zurkow, London-based global head of alternatives.

Before joining Allianz GI, the two were directors at Dubai-based Abraaj, which is in the process of liquidating its assets. Both were based in Singapore.

The team will make further hires over the coming months, Allianz GI said in a statement.

A company spokesman declined to comment on the target size of the desk or on who looked after private credit operations for Asia before the team was set up.

Separately, Allianz Real Estate, the property investment arm of the German insurer, said it was looking at getting into managing property debt in April.


UK fund house Aberdeen Standard Investments has appointed four portfolio managers to cover Chinese equities and fixed income.

Aaron Ni joined in Shanghai in October as investment manager on the Asian fixed income team and he is responsible for covering onshore China credit.

He was most recently at China's Ping An Asset Management, where he specialised in credit analysis. Ping An AM did not respond to AsianInvestor queries on when Ni left the firm and whether he has been replaced.

He is joined by Edmund Goh, who will cover China sovereign bonds and credit investing, the spokeswoman said. Goh is relocating from Singapore to Shanghai as Asia fixed income investment manager.

Edmund Goh

Both Ni and Goh report to Singapore-based Adam McCabe, head of Asian fixed income, the spokeswoman added.

On the equity side, Alec Jin becomes investment manager on the Asian equities team, covering China- and Hong Kong-listed stocks. Hong Kong-based Jin came on board in July, the spokeswoman said.

He was most recently director of leveraged finance at Standard Chartered Bank, which declined to comment on his departure.

Finally, Stella Li has been named investment manager for China equities based in Shanghai. She started in October, the spokeswoman said.

Li was previously an equity research analyst with Macquarie Securities, which declined to comment on her departure.

Both Jin and Li report to Nicholas Yeo, Hong Kong-based head of China equities, the spokeswoman said.


US passive funds giant Vanguard has announced changes to its Asia management structure, months after it said it was shutting down its Singapore operations.

Charles Lin, China managing director, will see his role expanded to head of Asia ex-Japan from January.

He will continue to report to Jim Norris, managing director of Vanguard's international operations, overseeing Vanguard’s offices in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

David Cermak, the current Asia head, will take on a new assignment at Vanguard, but the firm declined to provide further details. His responsibilities had covered Asia excluding China.

Meanwhile, Singapore head Richard Vane will move to another role at Vanguard, the spokesman said, but declined to provide further details.  


BNP Paribas Asset Management has rejigged its sales and distribution teams following the departure of Mandy Lui, its former head of wholesale distribution for Hong Kong, China and Singapore. 

Lui will not be directly replaced, with her responsibilities to be subsumed under a newly created role of Asia head of private banking, a spokesman told AsianInvestor.

Guenter Tschiderer takes on the new post while retaining his current title of head of group networks for Asia Pacific. He reports to Singapore-based Christian Bucaro, co-head of sales for Asia Pacific at BNP Paribas AM.

The French asset manager will retain its wholesale distribution teams in Hong Kong and Singapore, which focus on other entities such as commercial banks and insurance firms, the spokesman said.


Australian asset manager AMP Capital has appointed Simon Warner as global head of its newly formed public markets business.

Simon Warner

The public markets business launched on October 30, an AMP spokeswoman said, and it was formed out of AMP’s listed equities, fixed income and multi-asset group teams.

Sydney-based Warner started on the same day, and he reports to AMP Capital chief executive Adam Tindall, said the spokeswoman.

He will also continue in his current role as global chief investment officer of the fixed income business.

The creation of the public markets business comes after AMP, the fund house's parent firm, said on October 25 it would sell its Australian and New Zealand wealth protection and mature businesses, as well as its New Zealand wealth management and advice businesses. Its goal is to focus resources on AMP Capital, as well as its AMP Bank and its Australian wealth management business.

Industry obvservers had tipped an asset sell-off at AMP after a malpractice scandal emerged at the group in April this year.


BlackRock has appointed Charlie Reid as its first dedicated head of renewable power for Asia Pacific.

Charlie Reid

Reid, who relocated from London to Sydney for the role, started at BlackRock Real Assets in June and is responsible for sourcing, executing and managing renewable infrastructure assets in the region.

He reports to David Giordano, New York-based managing director of the BlackRock renewable power team.

Prior to his relocation, Reid was a portfolio manager for BlackRock Renewable Power’s investment team in London.

This story has been updated to reflect the fact that Reid is the firm's first head of renewable power for Asia Pacific.


Swiss fund house Vontobel has created a desk covering external asset managers (EAM) and family offices in Asia and named Georg von Wattenwyl to lead it.

An internal appointment, Von Wattenwyl will start as head of EAMs for Asia Pacific and global head of family offices within the EAM business on January 1, a Vontobel spokeswoman said. He will be responsible for developing the EAM business and the sale of products to family offices, both in Asia and globally, a media statement said.

Georg Von Wattenwyl


He will report to Brian Fischer, head of the EAM business at Vontobel Investment Banking, the spokeswoman added.

Von Wattenwyl will be based in both Singapore, subject to regulatory approval, and Zurich as part of his global role, the spokeswoman said. 

Vontobel did not have an EAM business in Asia prior to Von Wattenwyl’s appointment, she added. The fund house did not respond to queries on whether the role of global head of family offices is new or if he is replacing anyone.

Von Wattenwyl is currently head of financial products, advisory, and distribution at Vontobel. He will be replaced by Peter Camenzind, head of Vontobel’s transaction banking business unit, the spokeswoman said.

Other people news reported by AsianInvestor last week:

HSBC Insurance hires new CIO in Asia shakeup


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