MALAYSIA’S SOSCO GETS NEW CHAIRMAN

Allianz General Insurance Malaysia’s chief executive officer Zakri Khir has been appointed the new chairman of the Social Security Organisation (Sosco), effective Oct 8, according to a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Zakri takes over from Aseh Che Mat. Sosco did not respond to AsianInvestor queries on whether Mat will remain with Sosco.

AsianInvestor understands that Khir will continue his current role at Allianz Malaysia.

QSUPER CIO TO RETIRE NEXT YEAR

QSuper chief investment officer Brad Holzberger has announced his intention to retire at the end of September 2019, according to a statement on the Australian Superannuation fund’s website.

Holzberger has been at the helm of QSuper’s investment team since 2009 and directly oversees the investment of over A$80 billion ($56 billion) in funds on behalf of QSuper’s 570,000 members.

Recruitment is now underway for a new CIO, with a view to facilitate a seamless handover next year, the statement said.

ALLFUNDS MAKES THREE HIRES IN SINGAPORE

Allfunds has made three hires in its Singapore office. All the appointments are already effective, a spokesperson for the fund solutions provider said, but declined to provide joining dates.

Oliver Stewart-Malir joined as chief operating officer (COO) for Asia. He was previously the COO at The Warranty Group in Japan. Before that, he worked with Goldman Sachs for 13 years. He reports to Alexis Fosler, regional manager for Asia at AllFunds.

Vinita Badlani

Additionally, Vinita Badlani has joined as head of the funds groups for Asia. She was previously business manager for investments with Navigator, an integrated investment platform operated by insurer Aviva, where she oversaw the due diligence process for funds and designing competitive fund offerings. Aviva did not respond to AsianInvestor queries on when she left or on her replacement.

At AllFunds, Badlani will report to Borja Largo, global head of the funds group.

Finally, Edwin Tan has joined as the new head of client services for Asia. He was previously with Citco Fund Services. Citco did not respond to AsianInvestor queries on Tan’s departure and replacement, if any. At AllFunds, Tan will report to Fosler.

The COO and head of funds groups are newly created roles, Fosler told AsianInvestor. “Edwin is taking over the role of head of client services for Asia, a position that has been part of the Singapore team for some time now,” she added, but declined to state who was in the role previously.

ABERDEEN STANDARD INVESTMENTS ADDS JAPAN TRIO

UK fund house Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) has hired three people to fill newly created roles on its Japan team in Tokyo.

Takashi Ikeya started as head of institutional sales in Japan on September 10. ASI's institutional distribution was previously overseen by Mikifumi Watanabe, senior adviser for the country, who also leads its wholesale distribution, said a spokeswoman. Watanabe remains in his role as senior adviser, she added.

Ikeya reports to Andrew Hendry, head of distribution for Asia-Pacific, as well as to Neil Slater, chief executive and representative director of ASI Japan, said the spokeswoman.

Previously Ikeya was a senior director of institutional sales at Manulife Asset Management. Manulife AM declined to comment on his departure and whether a replacement has been announced.

ASI also hired Jiro Hamaguchi as in the newly created position of head of Japanese institutional product strategy and solutions on October 1. He also reports to Slater, as well as to Emily Smart, head of liquid assets product strategy and solutions, the spokeswoman said.

Hamaguchi was most recently product director for Japan at Australian asset manager AMP Capital, an AMP spokesman said. Hamaguchi left the firm in September, and AMP is currently in the process of recruiting a replacement, he added.

Finally, Sayaka Iwase was appointed private market sales specialist on September 3. She is responsible for growing ASI’s private markets client base in Japan for alternatives products and solutions.

Like her two new colleagues, Iwase reports to Slater, in addition to Stewart Hay, global head of private markets solutions, said the ASI spokeswoman.

Iwase was most recently vice president for investment at Japanese private equity firm Alternative Investment Capital (AIC). AIC did not respond to AsianInvestor queries on Iwase’s exit date and whether a replacement has been announced.

EVESTMENT APPOINTS HEAD OF APAC SALES

US investment analytics firm eVestment has named William Tang as head of Asia-Pacific sales.

William Tang

Tang started in September, and is tasked with leading the regional sales team and growing the regional client base, an eVestment spokeswoman said. This includes driving business growth strategy and growing the firm’s footprint among institutional investors in the region.

He is based in Hong Kong, and reports to Hans Jiang, eVestment’s managing director for Asia-Pacific.

Jiang previously led sales in the region but was promoted to lead the entire Asia Pacific team, and Tang was brought in to take over the sales business, the spokeswoman said.

Tang was recently head of sales for north Asia at Fitch Solutions. Fitch did not respond to AsianInvestor queries on Tang’s exit date and whether a replacement has been announced yet.

EQUIS GROUP NAMES PARTNER

Singaporean infrastructure private equity manager Equis Group has appointed Damian Secen as partner.

Damian Secen

Singapore-based Secen will start in the newly created role in January 2019, and will oversee origination, investment and asset management for the firm, an Equis Group spokesman said.

Equis Group did not respond to AsianInvestor queries on who he will report to and whether there is anyone covering his responsibilities prior to his start date.

Secen was most recently managing director in the Macquarie infrastructure and real assets (MIRA) team at Australian financial services firm Macquarie Group. Macquarie declined to comment on Secen’s exit date and whether a replacement has been announced.

STATE STREET ASSOCIATES APPOINTS APAC HEAD OF RESEARCH

State Street Corporation has appointed Qi Wang as Asia Pacific head of research for State Street Associates, the US financial firm’s academic affiliate.

Wang will report to Singapore-based Dan Gerard, head of innovation and advisory solutions, Asia Pacific, State Street Global Exchange, and Boston-based Will Kinlaw, global head of State Street Associates.

She joined State Street on October 1 from Edhec Infra, where she was head of risk modelling, leading the development of risk and portfolio construction models. Prior to that, Wang was a quantitative analyst at JP Morgan and a senior risk analyst at Standard Chartered.

JACK LIN JOINS MSCI EXEC COMMITTEE

Index provider MSCI has appointed Jack Lin, managing director and head of Asia Pacific client coverage, to its executive committee effective immediately. Hong Kong-based Lin will continue reporting to Laurent Seyer, chief operating officer and chief client officer at MSCI.

Lin joined MSCI in May 2018 from Amundi, where he was the head of South Asia. Previously, he was head of Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa for Pioneer Investments, which was acquired by Amundi in 2017. 

MSCI did not comment on whether Lin replaces anyone on the committee or if his appointment represents an expansion of the comittee.

SECURITIES COMMISSION MALAYSIA GETS NEW CHAIRMAN

The chairman of the Securities Commission (SC) Malaysia, Ranjit Ajit Singh, is set to retire on October 15 and will be replaced by Syed Zaid Albar.

Singh worked with the SC for 25 years, and was chairman for the past six years, the SC said in a statement. His tenure was expected to end only in 2019, according to media reports.

The Prime Minister’s Office announced Albar’s appointment in a statement on September 30. A lawyer for close to four decades, Albar also has his own law firm, Albar & Partners.

SIMCORP OPENS FIRST JAPAN OFFICE

Danish investment management solutions provider Simcorp is set to open an office in Tokyo.

The office will open on October 11 and is expected to offer the firm’s integrated investment management solutions to asset managers in Japan.

It will be the firm’s first office in Japan, a Simcorp spokeswoman said, and the fourth office in the region after Singapore, Hong Kong, and Sydney.

Sean McDermott, Simcorp’s Asia-Pacific senior sales director, will lead the Japan office, and will report to Singapore-based Oliver Johnson, the firm’s Asia-Pacific managing director, said the spokeswoman.

WITHERS SETS UP INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, REAL ESTATE TEAMS IN JAPAN

Law firm Withers has set up two teams in Japan, one dedicated to  investment management and another to real estate.

The hires for both teams were effective October 1, a spokeswoman for the firm told AsianInvestor.

Koji Yamamoto and Yoshiyuki Omori have joined as partners for the investment management team based in the Tokyo office.

Yamamoto has significant experience in advising clients in investment funds and investment management, while Omori has extensive experience advising domestic and foreign financial investment institutions and investment funds on Japanese securities-related regulations.

Both joined Withers from Deloitte, along with team members Rie Nitta (counsel), as well as Hirokazu Miyamoto and Noriko Narahara (paralegals).  

Deloitte did not respond to AsianInvestor queries on the departures.

The real estate team will be led by partners Gerald Fujii, Naoki Ueyama and Steven Wheeler, and counsel Hiroyuki Sakazaki.

Fujiii joined the firm from White & Case's Tokyo office, which did not respond to AsianInvestor queries on the departure.

Ueyama joined from Masuda & Partners and has significant experience in advising leading Japanese banks and financial institutions.  Masuda & Partners did not respond to AsianInvestor queries on the departure.

Wheeler runs his own firm, and will focus on property mergers and acquisitions and financing transactions, while Sakazaki will be joining the firm from Kanagawa International Law Office.

Kanagawa did not respond to AsianInvestor queries on Sakazaki’s departure. 

Withers opened its Tokyo office in 2015.