Hamilton Lane opens Korea branch, plans to add staff
Private markets investment firm Hamilton Lane has opened an office in South Korea, its 12th worldwide, to strengthen its client support. 

'Steve' An Sungji will relocate from Hong Kong to lead the Seoul branch and will be supported by Mina Kang from Hong Kong – both are Korean nationals. 

A spokeswoman said the firm planned to add one or two more individuals there “in the medium term” but had no plans to put investment staff in Seoul “this fiscal year”. 

Hamilton Lane counts among its Korean clients state institutions the National Pension Service and Korea Teachers’ Pension Fund. “Whenever we add a cluster of two or three sizeable clients [in a market], we end up opening a client support office,” said the spokeswoman.

An’s role effectively remains the same as before – to support Korean clients and develop further business there – so his relocation does not create a vacancy in Hong Kong. 

He joined Hamilton Lane in 2014, having previously worked at US asset manager Neuberger Berman and Mercer Investment Consulting. 

In addition, the firm – with $239 billion in AUM globally – has investments in Korea and hopes that being on the ground will facilitate further deal flow.

Credit Suisse names Malhotra as head of new entrepreneur division
Credit Suisse has appointed Vikram Malhotra, currently Asia-Pacific head of investment banking, to oversee a new cross-group unit focused on its most significant ultra-high-net-worth entrepreneur clients. 

His mandate is to expand both investment banking and private banking activity among such clients. Based in Hong Kong, he also takes on the newly created role of executive vice-chairman for Asia Pacific, which straddles investment and private banking.

Malhotra (pictured left) is replaced by Mervyn Chow and Edwin Low as co-heads of the investment banking and capital markets department for Asia Pacific. 

Hong Kong-based Chow was previously Asia-Pacific head of Credit Suisse’s global markets solutions group, while Low was Southeast Asia co-head of investment banking, based in Singapore.

Eastspring adds four equity portfolio managers
Eastspring Investments, the $125 billion Asian funds arm of UK insurer Prudential, has added four members to its equity team, which is now 30-strong and manages $30 billion in assets. 

Bonnie Chan joins as a portfolio manager for the Asian Infrastructure Fund. She was previously a senior analyst for transportation and infrastructure for two years at investment bank Jefferies in Hong Kong. This followed two years as a senior analyst for transportation and infrastructure at Macquarie in Hong Kong. Prior to that, she was an analyst for six years at BlackRock in London and Hong Kong. 

Mandeep Sachdeva joins Eastspring as a portfolio manager in the global emerging markets (Asia) team. He was most recently an analyst at Fidelity in London. Prior to Fidelity, Mandeep worked at Orbis Investment Advisory and Citi. 

Arthur Kadish as a portfolio manager in the equity team and is a member of the regional Asia focus team. Prior to Eastspring, Arthur was an Asian equity analyst and partner at Primrose Capital Management in Shanghai. He has also spent six years at Orbis Investment Advisory in London as a global equity analyst. 

Shea Pei Shee joins as a portfolio manager on the equity income focus team. Prior to joining Eastspring, she was an investment director at Leedon Capital, where she managed an absolute return, long-only portfolio focusing on public equities mainly in Asia Pacific (ex-Japan). Before that, Shea was an investment analyst at Fidelity International. 

Eastspring said no one had left the investment team in recent months and these were all new additions.

Prudential hires ANZ’s ex-Asia head of mutual funds 
UK insurer Prudential group has hired Ceri Ng, former Asia head of mutual funds at ANZ Wealth, in Singapore as director of funds research for the regional investment office to work on unit-linked products.

She comes in following the August departure of Donald Chan, who had led fund selection for the regional ULP business out of Hong Kong. Fund selection is now led by CY Foo, director of external funds at Prudential in Singapore.

Ng (pictured left) left ANZ in August after spending less than a year in its wealth management business, according to her LinkedIn page. ANZ declined to comment on whether she had been replaced.

She was previously a senior research analyst at financial services firm Perpetual Private in Sydney. Prior to that, she worked as an investment research analyst for DFS Advisory Services.

RBC names new Asia head of wealth planning
RBC Wealth Management has appointed Vivian Kiang as Asia head of wealth planning based in Hong Kong.This follows the departure a few weeks ago of Simon Ng, former Asia head of trust and wealth planning.

Kiang will provide clients with access to RBC’s trust and fiduciary capabilities globally and work with third-party partners locally, including insurance brokers. She reports to Stefan Mueller, Asia head of investments and products.

Prior to joining RBC, she was a vice president and wealth planner in Hong Kong at Citi Private Bank, which declined to comment on her departure. Kiang started her career with RBC in Toronto.

Franklin Templeton appoints head of global ETFs
US asset manager Franklin Templeton Investments has created the role of head of global exchange traded funds with a view to developing its capabilities in the active and rules-based ETF space. 

Patrick O’Connor (pictured right) came in on November 9 from BlackRock’s iShares ETF business to take up the position. Based in Franklin Templeton’s headquarters in San Mateo, California, he reports to Jenny Johnson and Vijay Advani, co-presidents of Franklin Resources.

Greg Johnson, chairman and CEO of Franklin Resources, said: “While the chief focus for Franklin Templeton continues to be on traditional active fund management, we believe there may be opportunities for investors to use a wider range of strategies, including various types of ETFs, to construct portfolios that meet their specific risk and return objectives.”

Franklin Templeton’s ETF offering is currently limited to one actively managed product, the Franklin Short Duration US Government ETF, which is not available in Asia, said a spokeswoman. It uses some non-Franklin Templeton ETFs on a limited basis within some of asset allocation strategies, she added.

The spokeswoman declined to comment on whether O’Connor had a remit to hire and said it was too early to provide detail on future recruitment plans.

At iShares, he most recently served as managing director of products in Canada and has also worked for the firm in Latin America and Iberia. He was a partner in the iShares business for more than a decade and an original member of the iShares launch team in 1999. 

He left iShares in April this year and was replaced by Pat Chiefalo in August.

StanChart Private Bank hires Indonesia UHNW head
Standard Chartered Private Bank has named a new chief to manage its ultra-high-net-worth clients in Indonesia.

Based in Singapore, Suci Guntur joined from UBS as managing director for client advisory at the private bank on November 16. She reports to Stephen Richards Evans, who is the interim market head of Indonesia.

StanChart declined to comment on who previously held Guntur’s role, but Torsten Linke reportedly resigned from his post as market head for Indonesia in April this year.

At UBS she was most recently head of financing solutions in Indonesia, covering private client-side corporate financing and special situations for UHNW clients. UBS declined to comment on whether she had been or would be replaced.

AMP Capital replaces NZ distribution head 
AMP Capital has promoted Rebekah Swan to head of New Zealand distribution to replace Peter Lynn, who joined Nikko Asset Management as head of global product promotion, as reported last week.

Based in Wellington, Swan (pictured left) joined AMP Capital in 2001 and has been senior relationship manager since 2009. She reports to Craig Keary, head of Australia and New Zealand clients. 

AMP Capital is now seeking another relationship manager for the New Zealand team. 

Swan’s appointment follows an internal and external recruitment search. 

Avendus to retain management after KKR deal
Alternative investment firm KKR is investing in Avendus Capital, an Indian financial services firm, to fund the latter’s foray into the credit solutions business and to grow its wealth and alternative asset management business.

Avendus’ existing management team, led by co-founders Ranu Vohra, Gaurav Deepak and Kaushal Aggarwal, will continue to manage the platform’s day-to-day operations. 

New Silk Route promotes Arvind Malhan to partner 
Indian private equity firm New Silk Route Growth Capital has promoted Arvind Malhan to partner.  

He joined the firm in 2010 as principal and has made contributions to investing in and managing investments including VRL Logistics, Varsity Education Management, Cafe Coffee Day, Ortel Communications, 9x Media and Nectar Lifesciences. 

Prior to joining NSR, Arvind served as executive director at JP Morgan Private Capital Asia and director of Asian private equity firm TVG Capital, where he started the firm’s India office. 

NSR’s $1.4 billion fund has seen four liquidity events this calendar year, including the IPOs of VRL Logistics, Ortel Communications and Café Coffee Day, and the sale of Destimoney Enterprises.

Other people news reported on AsianInvestor.net in the past week:

Korea’s Poba gets CIO, PMAA still looking: reports

Martin Currie acquires long/short Japan fund

Mercer Investment Solutions launches in Japan

Northern Trust plans for Asia hedge fund growth

HK exec gets 15-year ban for taking bribe

CSRC bond, futures head in corruption probe

Ex-KIC chief accused of improper conduct