Carlyle paring, restructuring China team: sources
Private equity firm Carlyle is reportedly laying off around 10 people in mainland China by trimming headcount in its Shanghai office and transferring some staff to Beijing. This follows the closure of its office in Chengdu last year.

“Presently, in China things are just difficult,” said an Asia-based PE executive, referring to the rising cost of compliance resulting in lower return on investments.

The Shanghai-based Asia Growth fund team is being partly moved to Beijing and partly laid off, said sources, leaving the Shanghai team to focus on the Asia Buyout and Asia Real Estate strategies.

Carlyle’s website currently shows 14 China-based individuals working for its Asia Growth fund, seven in Beijing and seven in Shanghai. Eight professionals are attributed to its Asia Buyout fund (seven in Beijing and one in Shanghai), while there are nine in Shanghai dedicated to Asia Real Estate.

The firm declined to comment or provide any details as to how those numbers have changed.

Carlyle also has China-focused investment professionals based in Hong Kong and final-closed the $3.9 billion Carlyle Asia Partners IV Fund on September 8.

Vanguard poaches CIC director of research
US mutual fund giant Vanguard has appointed its first senior economist for Asia Pacific. Wang Qian joined Vanguard's global investment strategy group (ISG) on October 27 from sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corporation and is based in Hong Kong.

The global ISG team, headed by chief economist Joseph Davis, is 50-strong globally with seven in Asia Pacific.

With Asia-Pacific being a dynamic and rapidly growing region, Davis said, it was timely for Vanguard to hire a senior economist there to contribute to its views on markets, investment strategy and economic outlook.

Prior to joining the $3 trillion fund house, Wang worked on macro research and strategic development at CIC for nearly four years. Before that, she was head of Greater China research at JP Morgan.

It is understood that she has not yet been replaced at CIC.

Consultancy Value Partners creates PE advisory role
Management consultancy Value Partners made three senior appointments in Singapore in October, including Yeo Soo Ruey as head of its newly created private equity practice.

Her position was created because of the growing attention of investors in Singapore and overseas on PE assets in Southeast Asia.

In addition, Mayank Parekh has come in as managing partner for Asia. This is a newly created role, because the offices in China, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia were previously run separately.

Value Partners has transferred Demetrio Di Martino – a telecoms, media and technology (TMT) specialist – to Asia from South America. This is because the firm feels Asia, and especially Southeast Asia, are areas of strategic growth for the next five years, especially in TMT and banking.

Yeo and Martino will report to Parekh.

Parekh has 11 years of management consulting experience in Asia and US, and eight years of private equity experience in the region. He was formerly a partner at McKinsey & Company, where he headed the Singapore office until 2007. After that, he was a PE investor in buyout and growth-capital deals across Asia.

Yeo joined from consulting firm PwC, where she worked for eight years advising on transactions, while Martino has been with Value Partners since 2002.

Aviva Investors hires Asian equities manager
UK-based Aviva Investors has hired a fund manager from JP Morgan Asset Management to work across its Asian and emerging-market equity strategies.

Based in London, Liu Xiaoyu will work with managers Will Ballard and Ed Wiltshire on their Aviva Investors Asia Equity Income, Emerging Market Equity Income and Emerging Market Small Cap funds.

At JP Morgan, Liu was an analyst specialising in the technology, telecoms and industrials sectors; she also researched small and mid-sized companies across Asia. Before that, she had worked on the global equity team at UBS.

Liu left JP Morgan AM on October 1 after seven years with the firm, which still has another emerging-markets small-cap analyst, Mark Perrin. It is recruiting for Liu’s replacement.

Meanwhile, Mary Nicola has transferred to the multi-asset strategy team as an investment strategist based in Singapore, covering Asian equity, fixed income and FX markets. She has been with the firm since May last year as a vice president in FX and fixed income, according to her LinkedIn page.

This follows the launch of Aviva Investors’ first multi-asset fund in July and several additions and changes to the multi-asset team in London. But it also comes after the fund house significantly cut headcount and restructured its setup in Asia, as reported.

Aviva Investors could not be reached for comment by press time.

Sustainable investment JV launching in Hong Kong
Asia Climate Partners (ACP) – a joint venture set up in August by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Japan’s Orix Corporation and Robeco Institutional Asset Management – has launched in Hong Kong.

Orix spokesperson said the official opening will take place next month and that Robeco will be the asset manager and will provide the head of the office. Robeco declined to identify the individual or how many people would be staffing the office.

The JV will invest mainly in renewable energy, clean technology, natural resource efficiency, water, agriculture, forestry and other climate-friendly companies and transactions.

The initial closing for ACP’s first fund has seen ADB, Orix and the UK government contribute about $100 million each for a total of some $300 million. The target is for a final closing of more than double this. The fund is initially looking to invest in Southeast Asian companies focused on energy conservation.

Avaloq adds sales staff in Australia
Avaloq, a provider of middle- and back-office software to banks and wealth management firms, has added to its team in Australia. Nick Frolich comes in as regional director for market development and Mani Kastellas as regional product manager, both newly created roles.

Frolich joined Avaloq from software company SAP, where he was lead for the financial services industry. Kastellas was previously responsible for product at Bravura and Simcorp. 

Frolich will report to Gery Dachlan, regional head of sales, and Kastellas to Jancy Choo, regional head of product management, both of whom are based in Singapore.

Avaloq made the additions due to business growth and following the recent go-live of Australian bank BT Financial Group on the vendor’s platform, said Peter Scott, general manager for Asia Pacific.

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