BlackRock replaces Asia head of PB distribution
BlackRock has promoted Tom Keenan to head of private bank and wealth distribution for Asia ex-Japan, following the September departure of previous incumbent Kueh Tan Yuan. 

Keenan is based in Singapore and reports to Damien Mooney, head of retail business for Asia Pacific. 

Keenan was previously Singapore head of private bank distribution, a post he had held since January 2015, according to his LinkedIn page. BlackRock declined to say whether they are replacing him. 

Prior to this, Keenan was head of the intermediary business in Australia for BlackRock’s iShares ETF arm. Before joining BlackRock in 2007, he had worked in Australia at BT Financial Group, Colonial First State and Fidelity.

AsianInvestor could not ascertain Kueh’s next destination as of press time.

Fullerton appoints new CIO
Singapore’s Fullerton Fund Management last week promoted Patrick Yeo to chief investment officer, following the departure of Manraj Sekhon, who was chief executive and CIO. 

Yeo (pictured left) will retain his position as head of fixed income at the firm.

He joined Fullerton in 2005 and has 26 years’ investment experience across fixed income, currency management and interest rate trading.

Ho Tian Yee is chairman and interim CEO while Fullerton conducts a search for a permanent CEO.

JP Morgan AM names first Australia CEO
JP Morgan Asset Management has named Rachel Farrell as chief executive and country head of global investment management for Australia.

She will relocate to either Melbourne or Sydney from Hong Kong in early 2017 and retain her current role as head of sovereign and institutional for Asia Pacific ex-Japan until a successor is appointed.

In the newly created role, Farrell (pictured right) will report to Patrick Thomson, London-based international head of institutional clients, and Michael Falcon, Asia-Pacific CEO, based in Hong Kong.

She will lead the Australian team, which includes Stephen Alcorn, head of institutional for Australia, and David Hallifax, head of Australia funds. These two were previously the most senior executives in the country.

Before Farrell moved to Hong Kong, she was head of sovereign and institutional strategy for South and Southeast Asia and Australia, having joined the firm in that role in July 2011.

JPM AM had $1.77 trillion under management as of September and opened the Australia office in 2010.

BlackRock combines Australia teams, adds six
BlackRock has merged its institutional and retail distribution teams in Australia with a view to tapping cross-selling opportunities and has made six appointments, five in Sydney and one in Melbourne. 

Jason Collins, previously head of Australia institutional client business, took on a newly expanded role as head of client business on November 21.

Collins (pictured left) reports to Dominik Rohe, country head of Australia, and works with Andrew Landman, head of Asia-Pacific institutional business, and Damien Mooney, head of Asia-Pacific retail business.

Landman and Mooney are both based in Hong Kong.

Rohe said in a statement: “Regulatory reform, advances in portfolio risk and compliance technology – as well as developments in advice and retirement solutions – have blurred the line between Australia’s institutional and wealth sectors. This creates enormous opportunities for the superannuation and advice industry.”

Collins will partner Jon Howie, Australia head of iShares, and James Crozier from the BlackRock Solutions Australia team. They are both based in Sydney.

BlackRock said it had also made six new appointments to the client business in recent months. It declined to say whether anyone had left the Australian institutional or retail teams in the past six months.

Paula Gigler, previously a broker distribution manager at US fund house Vanguard, joins iShares in Sydney as a vice president covering private banks and brokers.

James Stewart joins as an associate from FIIG Securities to cover iShares in New South Wales and Queensland.

Dan Annan, a vice president, relocates from San Francisco to join the iShares fixed income distribution team.

Stuart Anderson, a director, relocates from London to join the transition management and market structure team in Sydney.

Dylan Wedande has joined as an associate in the Melbourne institutional team. He was previously a portfolio manager at Rothschild Wealth Management in London.

Jackson Lee joins as a research analyst from BT Financial Group, where he was a payments administrator.

BNY Mellon IM hires HK intermediaries head
BNY Mellon Investment Management has named Chris Tse as head of intermediary distribution for Hong Kong and China. This is a newly created role reporting to Nicolas Kopitsis, head of intermediary distribution for Asia Pacific ex-Japan.

Tse (pictured right) will focus on financial institutions and private wealth managers in Hong Kong and China.

Kopitsis and Tse are currently the sole members of the intermediary sales team after BNY Mellon IM laid off many of its sales staff in Asia after closing its separately managed account platform last year.

Tse most recently spent five years in Hong Kong as Asia head of business development at UK-based index provider FTSE. 

Prior to this, he held key positions at The Prudential Assurance Company, Credit Agricole Asset Management, Franklin Templeton and Manulife International.

Sarasin adds Asia EAM head
Bank J. Safra Sarasin has hired Peter Bühler from VP Bank as Asia head of external asset managers and intermediaries, effective November 23.

Bühler’s role is newly created as Sarasin expands its business, a spokesperson said. The private bank did not respond to a query about who had looked after those functions before he joined.

Based in Singapore, Bühler (pictured left) reports to Benedikt Maissen, chief executive for Singapore.

Sarasin hired Sutarmin Lili from Julius Baer as managing director of client advisory in Singapore earlier this month. 

At VP Bank, Bühler was most recently Singapore-based head of intermediaries for Asia. VP Bank Singapore did not respond a request for comment by press time. Bühler has also worked for Swiss banks Clariden Leu and UBS.

Contango hires ex-UBS compliance head
Australian asset manager Contango hired Hari Morfis as general counsel last week. Based in Melbourne, he reports to George Boubouras, chief investment officer.

Morfis’ role is newly created, as it is important to have a high-calibre legal adviser, Boubouras told AsianInvestor. In addition, the listing requirements for fund managers suggest that having a in-house counsel is a better structure than outsourcing to legal service providers, he added.

Morfis was most recently head of compliance for wealth management in Australia at UBS, until September 2016. He has also worked at law firm Herbert Smith Freehills.

UBS has exited its wealth management business in Australia, so Morfis will not be replaced, a spokesperson said.

Credit Suisse Trust Group hires from UBS
Credit Suisse Trust Group has hired Nicholas Kourteff from UBS as head of product management insurance solutions for Asia Pacific, based in Singapore. 

In this newly created role, Kourteff is responsible for expanding the protective solutions business in the Asia-Pacific region. He reports to Patrik Läser, global head of products, solutions and life of Credit Suisse Trust Group in Zurich.

Kourteff is responsible for product management, operational efficiency, framework and governance. He will lead third-party relationship management with broker partners and life insurance firms.

Before joining Credit Suisse, he was executive director of product management and distribution at UBS in Singapore, a position he had held since June 2007.

Other people news reported on AsianInvestor in the past week:

New NCSSF chairman facing major challenges

Why NPS is shaking up its alternatives teams

GIC promotes group CIO to CEO in reshuffle