MAS APPOINTS CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has appointed Darian McBain as chief sustainability officer to lead its newly formed sustainability group. Her appointment is effective October 1.

McBain will report to Ho Hern Shin, deputy managing director in charge of financial supervision and Leong Sing Chiong, deputy managing director for markets and development.

McBain was most recently chief sustainability officer at seafood supplier conglomerate Thai Union Group, which she left in July 2021.

The sustainability group, which will commence on October 1, will coordinate the central bank’s green finance and sustainability agenda, the announcement said.

A spokesperson for MAS confirmed McBain would be relocating from Sydney to Singapore for the role. There are currently no plans for other MAS senior appointments as part of the new group, the spokesperson added.

EPF ANNOUNCES TWO SENIOR APPOINTMENTS

Sazaliza Zainuddin

Malaysia’s Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has promoted Sazaliza Zainuddin to the position of chief operating officer, effective September 1. He replaces Mohd Naim Daruwi, who retired after almost three decades with the pension fund.

Zainuddin joined EPF in 2006 as head of accounts in the finance department and has been the fund's chief financial officer (CFO) since 2007. He worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers between 1997 and 2006.

Replacing him as CFO is Mohamad Hafiz Kassim, who took on the role on August 1. He joined EPF in 2008 and was most recently head of the real estate investment department.

EPF did not respond to requests for comment on who they report to and whether a replacement for Mohamad Hafiz’s earlier role as head of real estate has been named.

GIC EXECUTIVE DEPARTS TO LAUNCH OWN FUND

Amit Kunal

GIC’s managing director of private equity for Southeast Asia, Amit Kunal, has left to set up his own firm, Bloomberg reported. Kunal plans to start a private equity fund with assets under management of between $500 million and $1 billion, sources said.

Kunal joined GIC in 2011 from Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

GIC vice president of private equity in Southeast Asia Choo Koon Po is also departing to join Kunal. He joined GIC in 2012 after two years at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he also worked with Kunal.

A spokesperson for GIC confirmed their departure but declined to comment further.

STATE SUPER HIRES SUPER FUND CIO FOR EXECUTIVE ROLE

Jason Hazell

State Super has appointed Jason Hazell as general manager for defined contribution investments, effective September 1. He will also join the executive leadership team for the fund.

Hazell was most recently chief investment officer (CIO) at the A$11 billion Crescent Wealth Super Fund and prior to that, was in various senior roles at MLC and NAB Asset Management, State Super said in a statement.

His key responsibilities at State Super include oversight of the defined contributions portfolio. His direct reports include: Alan Chan, senior investment manager asset allocation and risk; Alice Tjahja, senior investment manager or debt, capital markets and alternatives; and Andrew Huang, senior investment manager for equities.

He takes over responsibilities previously held by CIO Charles Wu, who was promoted last year. Wu said in a statement that Hazell’s role is “pivotal” for the fund, which had taken more than six months to fill.

Crescent Wealth has been contacted for comment.

HESTA CHIEF JOINS GLOBAL CORPORATE GOVERNANCE BODY

Debby Blakey

Hesta Super fund Debby Blakey has become Australia’s only representative in the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) board, the network announced on September 2.

ICGN brings together companies and stakeholders to develop corporate governance and stewardship standards. Its members are responsible for assets under management of more than $59 trillion.  ICGN also announced the appointment of Henry Jones of CalPERS as its chair of the board, replacing Robert Walker of LVC Strategies.

Aside from Blakey, two other board members were newly appointed: Seiji Kawazoe, senior stewardship officer at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management and Luz Rodriguez, senior investment stewardship analyst at the Colorado Public Employees' Retirement Association.

All four appointments came into effect on September 2. Board members can serve up to six consecutive one-year terms, while Jones' tenure as chair has the option of being extended by two years.

HESTA APPOINTS CHIEF GROWTH OFFICER

Tim Mitchell-Adams

The A$56 billion Hesta has appointed Tim Mitchell-Adams as chief growth officer. He will also be a part of the fund’s executive leadership team, the fund said in a statement.

Mitchell-Adams previously held senior positions at AXA Australia and AMP, and most recently held executive positions at charity organisations such as the Australian Scholarships Group, World Wide Generation, and Doing Good Rewards.

He will lead the growth team as the fund enters the start of a new three-year strategy. He joined the fund in late August.

EX-BLACKROCK EXEC MOVES FROM HK TO SG TO TAKE CEO ROLE

Michael Marquardt

Michael Marquardt has relocated to Singapore from Hong Kong, leaving his role as chief operating officer (COO) at private credit firm Zerobridge to join investor services firm IQ-EQ as regional chief executive.

He will lead the firm’s expansion into mainland China as the expands its business into the country, having spotted opportunities in private equity, real estate, private credit, family offices and private wealth. IQ-EQ has operations in Shanghai and Shenzhen, and employs 800 people across Asia Pacific.

Marquardt was previously COO for Asia Pacific at Black Rock while based in Hong Kong between 2009 and 2017, and COO for Japan while based in Tokyo before that. He left to join Zerobridge as partner and COO in September 2018, a role he held until a week ago. He started in his new role at IQ-EQ in early September.

Zerobridge said in a statement that it plans to announce a replacement soon, and that managing director Stephen Hull who joined the company last year, also from BlackRock, will take over Marquardt’s responsibilities in the interim.

NORTHERN TRUST NAMES NEW BUSINESS HEAD FOR AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

Leon Stavrou

Northern Trust has appointed Leon Stavrou as head of its business in Australia and New Zealand, effective October 1. He will continue to be based in Melbourne, Australia.

Stavrou was most recently a global service executive responsible for Northern Trust’s asset servicing operations across Australia and developing asset servicing solutions for clients across Asia Pacific. He succeeds Angelo Calvitto, who was named head of Northern Trust in Asia Pacific in June this year. He will report to Calvitto.

Stavrou has more than 20 years of experience working within the asset servicing industry, with the last 11 years spent at Northern Trust. Before that, he held managerial roles at National Australia Bank Asset Servicing.

Northern Trust employs more than 200 people in its Sydney and Melbourne offices. The firm declined to comment on his replacement. 

BELLEVUE EXPANDS ASIA SALES TEAM

Florin Boetschi

Swiss firm Bellevue Asset Management has hired Florin Boetschi from DWS Group as advisor and relationship manager for institutional investors in Hong Kong, effective September 7.

Boetschi's appointment is part of the firm's plans to strengthen Bellevue's presence in the region as the asset manager targets business expansion in Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong. 

Previously, Boetschi held positions as a senior salesperson at DWS' Zurich office from 2018 to the summer of this year, and as a product specialist at UBS wealth management in Hong Kong and Zurich from 2015 to 2018. 

DWS did not reply to emailed questions on his replacement. Bellevue did not reply to emailed questions on Boetschi's reporting line. 

HSBC AM BUILDS NEW DIRECT REAL ESTATE TEAM

Victoria Sharpe

HSBC Asset Management announced the creation of a new direct real estate team as part of its strategy to build out its alternatives business. 

Based in Singapore, the team will be led by Victoria Sharpe, managing principal and head of real estate, Asia Pacific, who joined HSBC AM on September 1. Reporting to Joanna Munro, CEO of HSBC Alternatives, Victoria will be responsible for the strategic growth of the firm’s real estate platform across the region.

Lionel Low and James Bartlett joined as managing principals on August 2, reporting to Sharpe, making them the founding members of the team. HSBC declined to comment on how many people it plans to hire.

In Singapore, the team will work closely with and report locally to Patrice Conxicoeur, Singapore CEO and head of Southeast Asia.

Victoria Sharpe joined the firm from DWS where she was managing director. A  spokesperson told AsianInvestor that Christopher Kimm assumed Sharpe's responsibilities as the head of real estate. Kimm joined DWS in 2016 and was concurrently CEO of DWS Asset Management Korea, and head of South Korea real estate business.

 LGIM APPOINTS ASIA HEAD OF INSTITUTIONAL SALES FROM VANGUARD

Jackson Loi

Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) announced the appointment of Jackson Loi as head of institutional sales for Asia ex-Japan. The appointment is effective September 1.

Based in Hong Kong, Loi will report to Natasha Mora, managing director for LGIM in Asia.

This is a new role, the release said. A spokesperson for LGIM added that the hire adds to the existing distribution team.

Loi was most recently head of distribution at Vanguard, where he worked for nine years. Prior to this, he was vice president at Swiss private bank SYZ & Co and an investment consultant at Willis Towers Watson.

A spokesperson for Vanguard confirmed Loi left as part of the closure of its Hong Kong office and business, announced in August 2020.

SANNE NAMES HEAD OF SINGAPORE

Tervinder Chal

Sanne, a global alternative asset and corporate services provider, has appointed Tervinder Chal as its new head of Singapore to drive the firm’s alternative and corporate offering across the region, it said on Tuesday (September 7).

Based in Singapore, Chal reports to Jing Jing Qian, managing director of Asia Pacific. He will be working closely with other colleagues across Sanne’s Asia, Europe and US markets. He started on Monday (Sept 6), the firm told AsianInvestor.

Chal takes over from David Fowler, who recently relocated to Sanne’s London office where he started his new position as global head of private equity, the firms said in an announcement.

Before joining Sanne, Chal was the head of fund operations for Asia Pacific with global real estate manager AEW. It declined to comment on Chal’s replacement.

NORDEA AM TO OPEN ESG HUB IN SINGAPORE

Copenhagen-based Nordea Asset Management (NAM) is planning to open an ESG hub in Singapore, the first such office outside of its homeland.

According to the firm, the office will be staffed by locally recruited ESG analysts and is intended to bring it closer to its Asia Pacific clients and also help better understand the sustainable ambitions of companies in the region, according to the announcement on September 6. The plan is to start implementing the hub in the latter part of 2021.

The firm did not respond to queries about detailed plans for hirings or how big the team will be. 

This article has been updated to clarify that Victoria Sharpe joins HSBC AM from DWS.