MICHELE BANG EXITS PRUDENTIAL

Michele Bang, Prudential Corporation Asia’s senior managing director for group digital, left the firm this week for personal reasons, a spokeswoman told AsianInvestor. She declined to comment on whether Bang had been or would be replaced.

The departure did not comes as a huge surprise to industry executives that AsianInvestor spoke to, given the recent turmoil at the firm.

Bang had switched to that role last year from Eastspring Investments, PCA’s fund management arm, where she had been deputy chief executive. That came ahead of the shock exit of three of Eastspring’s top executives in January this year and subsequent senior departures, fuelling uncertainty over the future of the firm.

Meanwhile, PCA’s parent, British insurer Prudential, is demerging its Asian and US units from its UK business, a process that is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Bang is working with education technology startups, said a source. That fits with her LinkedIn page, which says she is a strategic adviser to Gnowbe and an investor in LearnLaunch, both edutech platforms. She did not respond to a request for comment sent via LinkedIn.

Bang had joined Eastspring in late 2013 as deputy CEO and global head of distribution, product and marketing. Before that, she was head of the global client group for North Asia at Deutsche Bank’s asset and wealth management business.

CAPITALAND IM CHIEF RESIGNS

James Lim

James Lim has tendered his resignation and is serving his notice as chief executive at CapitaLand Investment Management to pursue other career interests, a spokeswoman at Singapore real estate firm CapitaLand told AsianInvestor.

According to well-placed sources, Lim was relieved of duty on September 9 after resigning earlier this month. He did not respond to inquiries about his future plans.

Jonathan Yap, president of CapitaLand Financial, has been and will continue overseeing CapitaLand IM, the spokeswoman said.

Lim joined CapitaLand to help launch the private fund management unit in 2017.

Lim previously spent three years with HSBC, where he helped to build the commercial real estate finance platform for Asia Pacific. Prior to that he held senior roles with Morgan Stanley, BNP Paribas, ANZ and Lehman Brothers.

HSBC PRIVATE BANK SNATCHES TRIO FROM RIVALS

HSBC Private Banking has made three senior hires to its investment services and product solutions (ISPS) group leadership team in Asia Pacific.

On the product side, Linda Lim has been hired as Asia head of discretionary. In addition, Rockey Cheung was appointed head of investment counselling for mainland China and Taiwan, and Simon Hwang was brought in as investment counselling team head for mainland China. 

HSBC's corporate communications team did not respond to requests for comment over whether the new appointees were due to prior departures, or how their responsibilities were previously covered.  

In her new role, Lim is based in Hong Kong, and reports to Abdel Ben Tkhayet and Jackie Mau, Asia-Pacific co-heads of ISPS. She joins from JP Morgan Wealth Management, where she headed the Asia discretionary business for family offices, endowments and foundations.

A JP Morgan WM spokeswoman said Lim's role has not been filled since she left in May. Before joining the US private bank, Lim was a senior portfolio manager at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management.

HSBC PB hired Cheung from DBS Private Bank, where he was head of investment product and advisory. A spokesman for DBS declined to comment on when Cheung left and who took over his role. Before that, he worked for the Hong Kong Futures Exchange. At HSBC PB, Cheung also reports to Ben Tkhayet and Mau. 

Hwang reports to Cheung. He joined from Citi Private Bank, where he led the mainland China and Taiwan investment counselling team. A spokesman for the US bank declined to comment on when Hwang left Citi and who took over his role. He has also worked at China Everbright Holdings and Ludgate Hill Investment Management and co-founded investment firm Pangu Capital.

BNY MELLON IM HIRES DUO FOR INTERMEDIARY BUSINESS

BNY Mellon Investment Management has hired two executives to its third-party distribution team in Singapore and Hong Kong, as part of a gradual rebuild of its intermediary business after regional cutbacks in 2015.

Vivienne Lim

Vivienne Lim joined the Singapore team on July 22 while Billy Chung joined the Hong Kong team on September 11 as intermediary business development managers. Both report to Nicolas Kopitsis, Singapore-based head of third-party distribution for Asia Pacific ex-Japan.

They focus on growing relationships with private banks, wealth managers, global financial institutions along with retail banks and family offices in the region, said the firm.

Both roles are newly created ones and these duties were covered by existing team members previously, a spokesman said.

Lim was most recently a vice president for business development at Legg Mason in Singapore, while Chung was last an intermediary sales senior manager for Invesco Hong Kong. Both Legg Mason and Invesco declined to comment on their departures.

STERLING VALUATION GROUP OPENS ASIA OFFICE

Sterling Valuation Group, which provides valuations of alternative assets, is opening its first overseas office this month in Hong Kong’s Quarry Bay district.

The firm provides independent portfolio valuation services to hedge funds, private equity firms, banks and other financial institutions. The move reflects the rapid regional growth in investment demand in recent years for alternative and particularly private market assets, a company spokesman said.

The new office will initially conduct marketing and other non-valuation operations, but the business plan is to develop it into a branch office over time, he added.

Sterling’s experience covers both outbound investments by US-based funds into Asia and investments by funds based in Asia.

MOODY’S APPOINTS APAC HEAD 

Rating agency Moody's Investors Service has appointed Wendy Cheong as Hong Kong-based head of Asia Pacific.

Wendy Cheong

She will take up the new role on October 7 and report to Min Ye, Hong Kong-based head of international operations.

Cheong's duties were previously covered by Ye, a company spokeswoman said. 

Cheong is currently Moody’s New York-based chief of staff to president Robert Fauber. A search for the new chief of staff is under way, a spokeswoman said.

ABERDEEN SI NAMES APAC REAL ESTATE RESEARCH HEAD


 

Aberdeen Standard Investments has appointed Min-Chow Sai as head of investment research for real estate, effective July 1.

Min-Chow Sai

Based in Singapore, Sai reports to Andrew Allen, London-based global head of investment research for real estate. Sai has replaced Milan Khatri, who departed the asset manager in March.

In his new role, Sai will lead the firm’s real estate research in Asia-Pacific, and generate analysis for its portfolios.

He joined from Nomura Securities as executive director for Singapore and regional listed real estate investment research. the Japanese investment bank declined to comment on AsianInvestor’s queries on when Sai departed and whether the position has been filled.

QBE APPOINTS SINGAPORE CEO

Ronak Shah
Ronak Shah

QBE has named Ronak Shah as chief executive of Singapore, effective September 11.

Based in Singapore, Shah is responsible for the branch’s operations. He reports to Jason Hammond, chief executive of QBE Asia. Hammond is based in Singapore.

Shah has replaced Karl Hamann, who left the firm in June.

Before being promoted, Shah was QBE's regional head of financial and professional and casualty lines, and he will continue to oversee the financial lines across Asia for the foreseeable future. The insurer’s spokeswoman told AsianInvestor that recruitment is underway for a new head of casualty for Asia, who will provide support for Shah across the financial lines.

WITHERS ADDS PRIVATE FUNDS PARTNER AND ASSOCIATES

Withers KhattarWong, the Singapore arm of UK law firm Withers, has hired Daniel Yong as a partner specialising in private funds and cross-border investment.

Two associates will join and report to him, Withers said in a statement, but a spokesman declined to identify them or their previous employers.

Yong moves from law firm Morgan Lewis, having previously also practised at Norton Rose and Jones Day. Morgan Lewis did not respond to a request for comment on his departure.

He advises private equity funds, sovereign wealth funds, family offices and corporate clients on regulatory and licensing issues, fund formation, cross-border M&A and private equity investment transactions in the Asia-Pacific region.

Withers already has other lawers covering these areas, and said the new hires are additions to strengthen the team.