Vanguard creates Greater China head role
US fund house Vanguard has named Charles Lin in the newly created role of head of Greater China, effective July 14, in addition to his position as head of distribution for North Asia.

Before he joined Vanguard in 2011, Lin worked as head of Greater China for Brazil's Itau Asia Securities, based in Hong Kong. There he was responsible for developing the firm’s equity and fixed income trading business with central banks, sovereign wealth funds, pensions and insurance companies.

Lin had previously worked for Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management developing its qualified domestic institutional investor business in China.

Lin’s promotion comes after the firm launched four exchange-traded funds in Hong Kong – developed Europe, Japan, Asia-ex Japan high dividend-yield products this June and an Asia ex-Japan index ETF in 2013.

Axa IM poaches debt duo from HSBC Global AM
French fund house Axa Investment Managers (Axa IM) has hired two fixed income executives from HSBC Global Asset Management in Hong Kong, Honyu Fung and Jason Pang.

Pang replaced senior portfolio manager Alvin Ong this month, while Fung joined in May in a newly created portfolio manager role. Ong left Hong Kong to join Manulife in Singapore in July as portfolio manager for Asian fixed income.

Fung and Pang report to Jim Veneau, head of fixed income for Asia.

At HSBC, Fung was most recently associate director, overseeing its Asian fixed income mandates. He had spent 11 years with the group. Pang was a senior Asian fixed income investment manager at the firm.

Before that Pang worked at UBS Global Asset Management on the wealth management team, where he was promoted to the Asian fixed income portfolio manager in 2010.

Axa IM hired Veneau as Asia head of credit and Christy Lee as a portfolio manager for Asian fixed income early this year, as reported.

HSBC declined to say whether they had been or would be replaced.

M&G Real Estate adds asset manager in Japan
M&G Real Estate has appointed Itsusaburo Hirayama to the newly created role of senior asset manager based in Tokyo, effective July, as the fund house seeks to further diversify its Japanese property portfolio.

Hirayama is responsible for M&G Real Estate’s Japanese property lease negotiations and has oversight of improvements made to the firm’s properties through refurbishment or alterations.

He reports to Katsuhiro Ishikawa, managing director of M&G Real Estate Japan, and James MacKinnon, head of asset management for Asia Pacific at M&G Real Estate Asia.

Prior to joining the fund house, Hirayama worked for Hitachi as a senior adviser focusing on improving the value of the firm’s real estate through smart technology. He has also held positions at Astro Japan Property Trust and Spring Investment Co, an Australia-listed real estate investment trust.

Other foreign fund houses have been looking to increase their allocations to Japan, particularly LaSalle Investment Management. The firm closed its Japan Logistics Fund III, which is devoted to warehouse and logistics projects, in mid-2013 with ¥40.8 billion ($431 million) in assets.

Dagong opens new Hong Kong office
Newly established Chinese rating agency Dagong Global Credit Rating officially launched its Hong Kong subsidiary on September 4, after securing a licence from the city’s securities watchdog.

The office is headed by chief executive Brian McCullough. Before joining Dagong this January, McCullough worked at Palmyra Point, according to his LinkedIn profile. He has also worked for Citigroup, Pacbridge Capital Partners and Morgan Stanley.

Dagong provides ratings for roughly one-third of onshore renminbi issuances in China and is now qualified to provide rating services in Hong Kong.

“We see significant pent-up demand from our existing customer base in China for offshore RMB rating services as Asian credit markets start to come of age,” said Guan Jianzhong, chairman of Dagong.

The company will issue a new rating framework for around 100 industries by the end of this month, Guan told FinanceAsia.

The Hong Kong unit plans to rate debt in all currencies, including dollar and euro, but will specialise in renminbi-denominated bonds, said Guan. It will also introduce more issuers from Europe and emerging markets such as Africa to Hong Kong’s renminbi bond market.

Dagong is the third Chinese rating agency to receive permission to set up operations in Hong Kong. It follows Shenzhen-based Pengyuan Credit Rating and Beijing-based China Chengxin International, a mainland affiliate of Moody’s Investor Services.

Citi names global private bank head
US bank Citi has reshuffled its top executives with the appointment of Peter Charrington as global head of its private bank. He succeeds Mark Mason, who has become chief financial officer for Citi's institutional clients group.

Charrington began his career at Citi Private Bank in 1994 in the UK, where he was a private banker and held roles in structured lending and real estate. He later headed Citi Private Bank in the UK, Greece, Israel and Monaco.

Following Citi's sale of the Smith Barney brokerage business in 2009, Citi Private Bank shifted its focus to ultra-high-net-worth clients with net worth of at least $25 million. At that time, Charrington was named CEO for North America.

Citi’s wealth management AUM in Asia Pacific is $254 billion and its global private banking AUM for the region is $310 billion.

Mizuho hires fixed income sales head
Japan’s Mizuho Securities Asia (MHSA) has appointed Scott Paul to the newly created role of head of fixed income sales for Asia, effective September 8.

Based in Hong Kong, he reports locally to Seiichiro Miyaoka, CEO of MHSA, and globally to Hiroshi Yoshizawa, Mizuho’s global head of Asian fixed income.

Paul joins Mizuho from Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Banking, where he was Asia head of sales for fixed income products. He began his career at Bear Stearns in the US and UK and went on to hold senior roles at Nomura in London and Wachovia Capital.

Mizuho is on an expansion drive. In April, it appointed a new executive team for Asian securities. The bank also appointed Paul Anderson as Asia ex-Japan head of equities in Hong Kong, as reported by AsianInvestor sister publication FinanceAsia.

Towers Watson names global head of manager research
Consultancy Towers Watson has promoted Luba Nikulina to global head of manager research to replace Craig Baker, effective immediately. She remains in London.

This follows Baker’s recent promotion to global chief investment officer.

Nikulina, most recently global head of private markets research in London, has worked for Towers Watson for nine years and held various manager research positions in the UK and the US.

Baker said Nikulina’s promotion was an opportunity to improve the firm’s research structure.

“We have long been asset class-agnostic and operated in line with broadly defined investment return drivers when developing investment strategy and portfolio construction for our clients, so we are taking the opportunity to restructure the manager research team under Luba’s leadership,” he said.

Other people news reported by AsianInvestor this week:

Eastspring hires HK head of intermediary sales

HK's SFC launches proceedings in Citic case

Nomura AM’s China JV tipped to spark trend

DeAWM unveils Asia head of fixed income

Value Partners targets China private funds market