KWAP CEO TO STEP DOWN

Wan Kamaruzaman Wan Ahmad is set to step down as the chief executive of Kwap, after five years of leading the Malaysian civil service pension fund, a spokesman confirmed, but declined to provide further details.

Local media reports said Wan Kamaruzaman is expected to meet the Ministry of Finance this week to finalise details of the depature. It is not known who will replace him. 

His departure seems to be part of the ongoing changes at the top for several government-linked investment companies and regulatory bodies, which is being driven by the new administration led by Mohamad Mahatir.

Speculation about Wan's departure grew after a series of changes were initiated at the pension fund in recent months, along with the departure of its chief investment officer.

Last month, Kwap chief investment officer Nik Amlizan Mohamed was appointed CEO of Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT), also known as the Armed Forces Fund Board. She replaced Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin, who resigned on September 7.

Kwap is also set to undergo an organisational revamp, which will include the creation of a deputy chief executive position, media reports said in September.

JP MORGAN AM ANNOUNCES SUCCESSOR TO FALCON

JP Morgan Asset Management has appointed a new chief executive of Asia Pacific in the form of Dan Watkins, previously global head of client services and deputy CEO for Europe.

He replaces Michael Falcon, who is leaving to head the North American operations of UK insurer Prudential as of January 7, 2019.

Dan Watkins

 

Watkins, who will relocate from London to Hong Kong in late 2018, will report to George Gatch, CEO of JP Morgan AM’s global funds and global institutional businesses.

Watkins' successor will be named in due course, a media statement said.

Watkins' expertise in Ucits (undertakings for collective investments in transferable securities) governance and distribution is expected to be highly relevant to Asia Pacific, where around 40% of JP Morgan AM’s client assets under management are in Ucits funds, the statement noted.

JP Morgan AM had $167 billion of client assets in Asia Pacific at the end of September 2018, out of $2 trillion globally.

CITI’S HK SECURITIES SERVICES HEAD LEAVES

Cindy Chen, securities services head for Hong Kong at Citi, left the US bank on October 5. 

Citi will shortly start the process of identifying her successor, a spokesman told AsianInvestor.

In the meantime, Edward Tse, product manager with the direct custody and clearing division, will partly take on Chen's responsibilities, alongside his current role, the spokesman added.

AsianInvestor could not ascertain Chen's next move. She had spent some 21 years with Citi, according to her LinkedIn page.

NORTHERN TRUST AM MAKES SENIOR HIRE FOR AUSTRALIA AND NZ

Chicago-based Northern Trust Asset Management has appointed Scott Bennett as head of quantitative research and client solutions for Australia and New Zealand.

Scott Bennett

Based in Melbourne in the newly created role, he reports to Bert Rebelo, head of Northern Trust AM for Australia and New Zealand. Bennett started in the post in September, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Northern Trust AM did not respond to AsianInvestor queries on Bennett’s start date and whether anyone had covered quantitative research and client solutions in the region for Northern Trust AM prior to his hire.

Bennett was most recently director of equity strategy and research at Russell Investments.

Russell Investments did not respond to AsianInvestor queries on Bennett's departure or whether a replacement had been announced.

SOLACTIVE OPENS OFFICE IN HONG KONG

German index provider Solactive has relocated Jennifer Steding to Hong Kong to lead its first office in Asia.

Jennifer Steding

The new branch became operational last month, while Steding had assumed the role of Hong Kong-based company director at Solactive on July 16. She reports directly to the firm's management board.

Steding was previously Frankfurt-based team head for fixed income indexing.

Among other duties, she is responsible for staffing up the Hong Kong office, where there is currently a five-member team.

“We plan to hire three more people in the initial phase,” Steding told AsianInvestor.

Solactive also has offices in Frankfurt and Toronto. 

CITI PB HIRES MARKET MANAGER FOR TAIWAN

Citi Private Bank has appointed Sally Yeh as Hong Kong-based global market manager for Taiwan, effective October 16.

Sally Yeh

Yeh reports to Rudolf Hitsch, the wealth manager’s Hong Kong-based North Asia head

Yeh is responsible for growing Citi PB's business with ultra-high-net-worth individuals from Taiwan and manages teams based in both Hong Kong and Singapore.

Her role was previously held by Chen Hsiou-ling, who retired in 2015. Hitsch had oversight of the Taiwan market on an interim basis before Yeh came on board.

Yeh was previously with UBS, which did not respond to AsianInvestor’s queries about her departure.

HSBC SINGAPORE APPOINTS CHAIRMAN

HSBC has named Mukhtar Hussain as chairman for its Singapore entity, effective October 17, in addition to his existing position as Asia-Pacific head of Belt and Road initiative. 

Mukhtar Hussain

 

Hussain oversees the Singapore business, including supporting the UK bank's three-year growth plan in the city state as a hub for small-to-medium sized enterprises and corporates, sustainable finance activity in the region and Southeast Asia’s rising wealth and digital consumption.

He replaces Guy Harvey-Samuel. HSBC declined to comment whether Harvey-Samuel remains with the firm.

Hussain is also a non-independent executive director of HSBC Bank Malaysia and HSBC Amanah Malaysia.

Hussain reports to Hong Kong-based Peter Wong, chief executive and deputy chairman of HSBC Asia Pacific.

*This story has been updated to include HSBC's comments on whom Hussein reports to.