CHINA TAIPING INSURANCE NAMING NEW CHAIRMAN 

China Taiping Insurance is promoting vice chairman Wang Sidong to chairman filling a position that has been vacant for a month, reports Caixin Global. He is now also serving the insurer as general manager. China Taiping did not respond to emailed questions on the new appointment.

According to a company announcement on October 12, Wang has been named as the Communist Party chief in the group. This role is generally seen as the highest decision-making position in major state-affiliated Chinese companies and reflects the Communist Party's influence in them. Typically the same individual is also the company chairman. China Taiping is 90% owned by the Ministry of Finance. 

Taiping's former chairman, Luo Xi, left the firm in September to join People’s Insurance Company of China as chairman. 

Before joining China Taiping in 2018, Wang worked at China Life Insurance and China's Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade, among other places.

ETIQA NAMES NEW SINGAPORE CHIEF

Etiqa, the insurance arm of Malaysia's Maybank, has appointed Raymond Ong Eng Siew as the new chief executive of its Singapore business, effective today (October 16).

Raymond Ong

He was previously group chief risk officer of Singapore's Great Eastern Life Assurance, which is in the process of identifying a replacement for him, a company spokeswoman said.

Ong now reports to Kamaludin Ahmad, Kuala Lumpur-based CEO of Maybank Ageas, the holding company of Etiqa Singapore.

Yip Kim Chee had been working as interim CEO after taking over from Sue Chi Kong on July 31 last year, when Sue retired after 14 years with Etiqa. He is resuming his post as chief risk officer today.

NUVEEN APPOINTS JAPAN REAL ESTATE HEAD

US asset manager Nuveen has appointed Shusaku Watanabe as head of Japan real estate in Tokyo. He has relocated from Singapore, where he was previously director of Asia Pacific capital markets at Nuveen, for the new role.

Watanabe reports to Nick Evans, Sydney-based head of Australia and Apac real estate. This is a new role that was created as a result of Nuveen’s increasing real estate investments in the country, a company spokeswoman said. 

When based in Singapore the main market that Watanabe covered was Japan, which he will still continue to look after, she added. Other markets like Singapore and Hong Kong will be covered by investment specialists domiciled in each country, including Carsten Kebbedies in Singapore and Louise Kavanagh in Hong Kong, she said.

Nuveen opened its first Japanese office, in Tokyo, in September 2018, and it houses real estate capabilities and advisory services.

VONTOBEL AM OPENS NEW SINGAPORE OFFICE

Benny Gay

Vontobel Asset Management has appointed Benny Gay as head intermediary clients for Asia, and Jeremy Tan as relationship manager for intermediary clients for Asia, for its newly-opened Singapore office.

Gay reports to Hong Kong-based Ulrich Behm, Asia Pacific chief executive officer who oversees both Singapore and Hong Kong business. Tan reports to Gay.

Both of them joined from DWS, in which Gay was head of private banks and intermediaries and Tan was relationship manager for intermediary clients in Asia. DWS did not immediately comment on their departures.

Jeremy Tan

The new Singapore office just has the duo working there now but is planning to hire more staff, a company spokesman said, without elaborating further. The Swiss asset manager currently has offices in Hong Kong and Sydney in Asia Pacific.

AQUILA CAPITAL NAMES APAC CEO

Aquila Capital, a German investment manager specialising in real assets, has appointed Alexander Lenz as chief executive for Asia Pacific.

Alexander Lenz

Based in Singapore, he joined Aquila Capital in September and reports to Roman Rosslenbroich, Hamburg-based CEO and co-founder of Aquila Capital.

This is a new role Aquila created due to its ongoing growth strategy. Asia Pacific offers promising investment opportunities in the renewable energy sector especially PV and wind, a company spokesman said.

Lenz was previously CEO of Singapore-based renewable energy company Conergy.

NEUBERGER BERMAN NAMES RM IN AUSTRALIA

Neuberger Berman has appointed Zac Wallis as relationship manager for intermediary distribution in Australia.

Zac Wallis

His appointment is effective on October 15, but he will start working at NB on December 2. He will report to Matt Thompson, Sydney-based head of intermediary distribution, a company spokesman said.

This is a newly created role to help drive the firm’s growth in the intermediary channel, the spokesman added. He did not comment on who took care of those duties before Wallis came on board.

Wallis joins from Perpetual Investments, where he was a strategic account manager. Perpetual Investments did not immediately comment on his departure.

OCORIAN POACHES ASIA TRIO FROM APEX TO BUILD FUND SERVICES TEAM

Ocorian, which provides corporate, fund and fiduciary administration services to asset managers and owners, has poached a trio from Apex Fund Services to build out its fund services business in Singapore (see also story below).

Naveen Sivaambihaibalan joins as head of fund services for Asia Pacific, Cursley Legoff as a client director and Vikram Nursing as senior manager.


Jay Moghe

The trio take up newly created roles as Ocorian is looking to grow its fund services business in Asia, said a spokeswoman. The firm has had an office in Singapore since 2012 housing its existing private client and corporate business, she added.

The latest hires follow the earlier appointments of Jay Moghe as head of Asia Pacific sales and business development in February and Charmaine Tan in May as sales support manager. Both also came from Apex, where they held equivalent roles.

Moghe said Ocorian’s clients include infrastructure and private equity funds and sovereign wealth clients.

At Apex, Sivaambihaibalan was vice president of private equity and real estate operations, Legoff led the private equity and real estate business, and Nursing was assistant VP for private equity and real estate operations. Apex did not immediately respond to queries sent late on Thursday (October 15) to its UK-based spokeswoman.

Ocorian, based on the island of Jersey in the English Channel, also has an office in Hong Kong, where it also plans to expand its headcount, said the spokeswoman.

APEX FUND SERVICES RINGS CHANGES AT TOP IN ASIA

Bermuda-based Apex Fund Services has brought in several senior executives following a number of departures, mostly to rival fund service provider Ocorian (see story above). It has also acquired rival FundRock, a Luxembourg based firm with an office in Singapore run by Tim Walkley. 

Liam Woods

Liam Woods rejoined Apex in September as Hong Kong-based head of Asia Pacific sales to replace Jay Moghe, after the latter's move in February to take up the same post at rival Ocorian. Woods had previously been London-based director of business development for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at financial technology firm SS&C, before which he had worked in sales at Apex.

Mike Langton started in August in Hong Kong in a newly created role as Asia Pacific head of middle office. He had moved from software and analytics firm Enfusion, where he had been Asia-Pacific head of sales for outsourced services since July last year. Enfusion did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

These hires follow the appointment of Valerie Mantot-Groene as Singapore-based head of Asia Pacific in April. She replaced Maggie Chan, who had moved on after two-and-a-half years to pursue new avenues, the firm said in a statement.

Apex has seen several other recent departures – including Naveen Sivaambihaibalan, Cursley Legoff, Vikram Nursing and Charmaine Tan – but a spokeswoman could not immediately say who had replaced them. 

NORTHERN TRUST APPOINTS NEW HEAD OF CLIENT SERVICES

Caroline Hwang

Northern Trust has announced that it appointed Caroline Hwang as head of client services for Hong Kong on April 6. She reports to Michael Wu, Hong Kong-based country executive for Greater China.

Hwang replaced Lily Kwok, who is now head of client coverage at Hang Seng Indexes. Kwok left Northern Trust in September last year.

Before joining the firm, Hwang led teams servicing North Asia private bank clients at JP Morgan Chase. A spokeswoman  told AsianInvestor that Hwang's former duties had been assumed by other members of the team.

Prior to that, Hwang has worked at Citi, Deloitte, PwC Consulting, Standard Chartered and HSBC.

CSOP SELLS FAMILY OFFICE BUSINESS TO CARRET PRIVATE

Hong Kong's CSOP Asset Management has sold its family office business to Hong Kong-based independent asset manager Carret Private Capital.

The family office division staff from CSOP all transferred to Carret Private together when the deal was completed on October 1, a company spokesman said.

The family office business is headed by Sotiris Venardos and less than 10 staff are affected, he said.

BNP PARIBAS NAMES NEW HEAD OF ASIA PACIFIC

Paul Yang

BNP Paribas has promoted Paul Yang to succeed Eric Raynaud as head of Asia Pacific when Raynaud retires on December 1.

Yang has been chief executive of corporate and institutional banking Asia Pacific since 2019. He joined the firm in Paris in 1988 and has held various senior positions in France and Asia since then.

Other people news reported by AsianInvestor in the past week:

Manulife IM lures Invesco's Korea institutional head