Partners Group's new Asia PE head takes over
Cyrus Driver this week took over as head of Asia private equity at Partners Group, a Swiss alternative investment firm that manages assets of €30 billion ($37.4 billion).

Driver in May had been named head of Partners’ newly opened Mumbai office. He is now splitting his time between Singapore and Mumbai and is expected to have relocated to the Lion City by the first quarter of 2015.

He replaces Andreas Baumann, who has relocated to the US as head of the Americas, focusing on portfolio solutions for large-mandate clients. Baumann will be one of 22 members of a new global executive board, which will come into existence on January 1.

Asia-based members of the board will be Kevin Lu, head of investment solutions for Asia, and Martin Scott, head of investment solutions for Australia.

A Partners Group spokeswoman said there had been a gradual handover between Baumann and Driver and that there was no official start date.

Driver joined Partners Group from Akra Capital in March 2012.

In November last year, Partners exited its hedge fund and wealth management businesses, narrowing its focus to private markets, across PE, real estate, infrastructure and debt.

Baumann joined Partners in 2003. He built out the Americas PE business from 2003 to 2010 before moving from the firm’s New York office to Singapore for the Asia role in 2010. He was promoted to partner in December 2011.

JP Morgan AM relocating new Asia institutional head
JP Morgan Asset Management is moving Rachel Farrell, Asia-Pacific ex-Japan head of institutional business, to Hong Kong from Singapore, effective from December 1.

She took up the role in July after her predecessor, Andrew Economos, moved to US fund house Capital International in May as senior vice-president of strategic solutions, as reported.

Farrell was previously head of sovereign and institutional strategy for South and Southeast Asia and Australia, having joined JP Morgan AM in that role in July 2011.

Before that, she spent 18 years at Citi, most recently as Asia-Pacific head of investor relations and distribution at Citi Capital Advisors. She had also worked as head of alternatives distribution for Emea at Citi Private Bank.

Nayan Patel joins Robeco
Nayan Patel started this month at Dutch fund house Robeco in the newly created role of vice president of institutional sales for Hong Kong and Asean.

He was previously at Harvest Global Investments, the Hong Kong arm of China's Harvest Fund Management, where he was responsible for distribution in Australia, Europe, Japan and the Middle East. His last day there was September 24.

Michelle Chua, head of business development for Asia, took over his responsibilities for Japan and Australia in addition to her current role.

Robeco created Patel's position to support its expanding institutional sales business in Hong Kong and the Asean region, said a spokeswoman for the firm.

Europe and the Middle East are now covered from London, where Harvest GI is planning to establish an office early next year. It is seeking to build a fully functional asset management arm in the UK capital with an investment team of up to 10 staff.

Patel had moved to Harvest in April last year from UK investment manager Kames Capital. He had joined Kames in June 2006, where he was business development manager, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Before that, he worked from March 2005 to March 2006 as a global relationship management analyst at Fidelity International.

OMGI hires in equity
UK-based Old Mutual Global Investors (OMGI) has appointed Diamond Lee as a portfolio manager in a newly created role in its Asian equities team, headed by Josh Crabb.

Diamond started on November 24 at OMGI in London and will relocate to Hong Kong subject to regulatory approval.

He was previously with Ignis Asset Management in Glasgow, Scotland, where he managed several Asian equity funds. He had been with the firm since 1995 and was responsible for Chinese stock selection.

As of press time, Ignis had not responded to requests for information on whether Lee had been or would be replaced.

In October, OMGI had hired an absolute-return fixed-income team from Ignis, which was taken over by Standard Life Investments this March.

In his new OMGI role, Diamond will be tasked with helping select Chinese stocks.

OMGI unveiled the appointment of Crabb and its Asian equities team in September this year, as well as the hires of a regional product and strategy manager.

The team took over management of two externally managed funds: the $270 million Old Mutual Pacific Equity Fund and the $40 million Old Mutual Asian Equity Fund. These are sub-funds of Dublin-domiciled umbrella products.

Prior to joining Ignis, Lee worked as an investment manager at Scottish Amicable from 1994, and before that as an assistant manager at KPMG.

AMP Capital shuffles leadership
Australia’s AMP Capital is restructuring its leadership ahead of the departure of its global head of infrastructure Scott Davies before the year-end.

The firm is splitting its infrastructure debt and equity teams and locating a member of its management team in London.

Boe Pahari, currently head of infrastructure for Europe and the Americas, has been appointed to the newly created role of global head of infrastructure equity, based in London.

He will also assume responsibility for the Australian and Indian infrastructure equity teams, which currently report to Davies.

Pahari will also join the firm’s leadership team, as will Andrew Jones, global head of infrastructure debt.

As a result of these changes, the Australia-based role of global head of infrastructure held by Davies, who oversees equity and debt, will cease to exist.

The moves are part of a drive to internationalise the business, said the firm.

AMP Capital is also streamlining its end-to-end client proposition across its key markets. As part of this, Anthony Fasso, head of AMP Capital's international business, will head the global product team while continuing to focus on international opportunities.

Sharon Davis, currently AMP Capital’s chief operating officer, will become director for Australia and New Zealand and take on responsibility for the Australian client teams, New Zealand operations.

Davis will retain responsibility for investment services functions.

All new members of the AMP Capital leadership team will report directly to chief executive Stephen Dunne.

The leadership staff changes will take effect on December 1.

Davies had been appointed as global head of infrastructure in July 2012, replacing Phil Garling, who retired. Prior to taking up that post, Davies was chief executive of Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group. As of press time, AsianInvestor could not ascertain his next move.

Towers Watson expands insurance practice
Towers Watson has made two senior appointments to its Asia-Pacific insurance management consultancy (IMC) practice.

Keith Brooks has joined as regional director to lead the IMC practice, and Wesley Cui has been promoted to the newly created role of director for China.

Based in Hong Kong, Brooks replaces Ben McDermott, who has left the firm. As of press time, AsianInvestor could not ascertain his next move.

He joined this month from Italian insurer Generali, where he was most recently chief executive and country manager for Thailand, based in Bangkok, according to his LinkedIn profile. He joined Generali in 2004 as Asia head of alternative distribution from April 2004 to July 2006.

Towers Watson has over the past two years developed its insurance consultancy services with a focus on strategic development and distribution partnerships.

Beijing-based Cui joined Towers Watson in 2011.

Other moves reported on AsianInvestor.net this week:

Coutts loses senior duo as it seeks buyer

Waterfield opens new offices, eyes Bangalore

Julius Baer switches head gatekeepers

DeAWM to relocate EM CIO in North Asia push

Japan hedge fund firm opens UK office