EX-KWAP CHIEF JOINS EPF INVESTMENT PANEL

Wan Kamaruzaman
Wan Ahmad

Malaysia’s Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has appointed Wan Kamaruzaman Wan Ahmand to its investment panel as of November 2.

He was general manager of the treasury department at RM924.75 billion ($223.1 billion) state fund from 2007 to 2013 and chief executive of civil service pension fund Kwap from 2013 to 2018.

Kamaruzaman also remains a public interest director on the board of Bursa Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, a position he took up in September.

HAMILTON LANE MOVES DUO TO NEW SINGAPORE OFFICE

Zhang Xiaying

US alternative investment firm Hamilton Lane has set up an office in Singapore with a view to servicing and expanding its client base across Southeast Asia.

Zhang Xiaying, who leads business development for Southeast Asia, will head what is the firm's fifth branch in Asia Pacific.

Zhang and Jensen Tam, vice president of relationship management for Southeast Asia, have relocated from Hong Kong to man the new office. 

Pennsylvania-headquartered Hamilton Lane also plans to hire two investment professionals in the coming few months, who will work with Xia Mingchen and Collwyn Tan, Hong Kong-based co-heads of Asia investments, it said in a release.

Zhang reports to Juan Delgado-Moreira, Hong Kong-based vice chairman of Hamilton Lane, and Tam to Shannon Chow, a principal on the relationship management team in Hong Kong.

Hamilton Lane's moves comes as a growing number of firms – both asset managers and asset owners – with existing presences in Hong Kong or elsewhere in Asia have been setting up branches in Singapore. The feeling is that some moves may be partly down to a desire to have another regional base amid growing political encroachment from Beijing on Hong Kong and the resultant turbulence in the territory. 

Among those to have put a presence in Singapore in the past few months are Canadian fund Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, Canadian insurer Sun Life, European fund houses Robeco and Vontobel Asset Management, and hedge funds Citadel and Marshall Wace. Family offices are also seen to be making similar moves.

INSIGHT REPLACES AUSTRALIA INVESTMENT SPECIALIST

Insight Investment, a UK-based investment manager in the BNY Mellon group, has appointed Ben Ereira as Sydney-based investment specialist, effective November 2.

Ben Ereira

Ereira replaces Adam Kibble, who left the firm last month, and reports to Bruce Murphy, Sydney-based director of Australia and New Zealand at Insight. 

Ereira works with clients across currency and equity risk management solutions. He also supports Insight’s multi-asset and fixed income capabilities.

He was most recently the founder and director of Cerca FX Consulting, advising institutional investors, wealthy individuals and family offices on currency programmes and operational efficiency. 

Ereira told AsianInvestor he would close the business.

SINGAPORE’S UOB AM LAUNCHES SUSTAINABILITY ACADEMY

Singapore-based UOB Asset Management has launched a ‘Sustainability Academy’ in partnership with Dutch fund house Robeco to offer training and development programmes to 400-odd employees across Asia.

Thio Boon Kiat, UOB AM

The initiative aims to equip employees in both investment and non-investment roles with the fundamentals of sustainable investing and help embed environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations within the organisational culture, said UOB AM in a press release.

The inaugural programme will start in the fourth quarter of 2020 and is a collaboration that taps Robeco’s expertise in sustainable investing.

Thio Boon Kiat, chief executive of UOB AM, said: “The global emphasis on sustainable investing has grown tremendously in recent years, with ESG considerations now core to the investment philosophy of major asset managers around the world.”

CARLYLE HIRES FORMER HDFC BANK CEO AS ADVISER

Aditya Puri

US private equity firm Carlyle Group has appointed Aditya Puri as a senior adviser on investment opportunities in Asia, effective November 1. 

 

A company spokeswoman declined to comment on whether he had replaced anyone.

Puri was formerly chief executive of India’s largest private-sector bank, HDFC. He was succeeded by Sashidhar Jagdishan.

BNY MELLON REPLACES APAC CHAIR AND HEAD OF ASSET SERVICING

Chen Fangfang

BNY Mellon has hired Chen Fangfang as head of asset servicing and digital and chair for Asia Pacific, with effect from January 4.

Chen will also provide oversight of the firm’s regional structure, including regulatory and legal compliance.

She joins from Algorand Foundation, a financial technology start-up, where she was chief operating officer and a founding member. Algorand Foundation did not respond to an emailed query.

Based in Hong Kong, Chen reports to Hani Kablawi, London-based international chairman, and James Slater, New York-based head of asset servicing client coverage and front office solutions.

Chen replaced David Cruikshank, who announced his retirement as Asia Pacific chairman earlier this year.

Chen also took over the former duties of Rohan Singh, who had worked as head of asset servicing for Asia Pacific since 2017. He took on a new global role as head of asset owners at BNY Mellon in August and will relocate from Singapore to London in early 2021, a spokeswoman told AsianInvestor. In this new role, Singh will report to Slater.

BNP PARIBAS SETS UP SECURITIES LENDING DESK IN HK

Anthony McDonald

BNP Paribas Securities Services launched an agency securities lending desk in Hong Kong this month and hired Anthony McDonald from Swedish bank SEB to head it.

The new desk will focus on Asian markets to meet appetite from clients looking to increase their asset allocations into the region. It will complement services to institutional borrowers and lenders offered via desks in Sydney, London and New York.

McDonald joined on October 12 and reports to Natalie Floate, Asia Pacific head of market and financing services, and Andrew Geggus, global head of agency lending trading.

At SEB he was Asia head of markets finance for around four years and his responsibilities have been taken on by the team in Stockholm, a spokesman said. McDonald has also worked at RBS Trust Bank, Credit Suisse, Citigroup and Dresdner Kleinwort. 

BARINGS APPOINTS NEW CHAIRMAN AND CEO

Mike Freno

Barings, an asset manager owned by US life insurer MassMutual, has promoted Mike Freno from president to chairman and chief executive on November 5. He has been president since February. 

Tom Finke, who has been chairman and CEO since 2016, will retire from Barings at the end of November to pursue another opportunity. 

BLACKSTONE APPOINTS NEW GLOBAL HEAD OF REAL ESTATE ESG

Eric Duchon

Blackstone announced today (November 6) that Eric Duchon has joined the firm in the newly created position of global head of real estate environmental, social and governance (ESG).

Duchon reports to Giovanni Cutaia, global head of real estate asset management. Both are based in New York.

Prior to joining Blackstone, Duchon was the global head of sustainability at LaSalle Investment Management, which he joined in December 2016 and left on October 21, according to a spokeswoman for the company. Before working there, he was the director of sustainability strategies at Cushman & Wakefield.

The spokeswoman added that LaSalle is in the process of filling a global head of ESG role, which will cover sustainability, and anticipates announcing this succession by end of this year. The firm has been evaluating internal and external candidates for the role, which will be based in North America.

A spokeswoman from Blackstone told AsianInvestor the creation of the new role marks a continuation of the firm’s ESG efforts. However, she declined to provide more details on Duchon's appointment beyond a news release.

Other people news reported by AsianInvestor in the past week:

Ex-BlackRock exec joins Zerobridge to lead fundraising