Barings poaches HK/China equities head
UK fund house Baring Asset Management has hired Laura Luo as head of Hong Kong and China equities from Schroder Investment Management.

Luo replaces Agnes Deng, who has held the title since November 2009, but is leaving after six years with the firm. A spokeswoman declined to comment on her future plans.

Luo is now lead manager of the $2.3 billion Baring Hong Kong China Fund, reporting to chief investment officer Wilfred Sit.

At Schroders, Luo was a lead manager for several Hong Kong/China equity funds with assets exceeding $2 billion. She was part of a 16-strong equities team focused on Greater China and based in Hong Kong.

Louisa Lo, Schroders' head of Greater China equities and deputy head of Asia ex-Japan equities, will assume Luo’s responsibilities temporarily, as the UK firm seeks a permanent replacement.

Meanwhile, Winston Ke becomes sole lead manager of China A-share portfolios, reporting to Luo. He joined in April 2010 from Shenzhen-based First State Cinda Fund Management.

Loomis Sayles appoints EM head
US fund house Loomis, Sayles & Company has hired Peter Marber from HSBC Global Asset Management as head of emerging markets investments, covering both equities and fixed income.

Based in Boston and reporting to chief investment officer Park Jae, Marber will oversee a team that includes portfolio managers David Rolley, Eddy Sternberg and Peter Frick and EM senior credit strategist Elisabeth Colleran.

Marber previously held several senior roles at HSBC Global AM’s EM division, most recently EM debt business strategist and before that global head of EM debt. He has also worked at Dresdner Kleinwort and UBS.

Loomis Sayles did not respond by press time to queries as to who was head of EM investments before Marber's appointment.

HSBC declined to confirm whether anyone had replaced or would be replacing Marber.

AMP Capital appoints new office fund manager
Australian fund house AMP Capital has appointed Nick McGrath as manager of the A$2.9 billion ($2.65 billion) AMP Capital Wholesale Office Fund (AWOF), to be effective January 1.

He is currently chief executive of the AIMS AMP Capital Industrial Reit, a Singapore-listed industrial real estate investment trust with assets of S$1.1 billion ($860 million) managed in a 50/50 joint venture by AIMS Financial Group and AMP Capital.

AWOF is an open-ended unlisted trust that invests in property assets across the principal office markets in Australia and New Zealand.

McGrath will relocate to Sydney from Singapore for the new role and report to Chris Judd, AMP Capital's head of property funds management..

McGrath replaces Tim Nation, who has been acting fund manager since May, following the departure of Henry Elliot after 14 years with AMP Capital. Nation will remain in the post until McGrath takes over, when he will revert to his main role as Sydney-based head of real estate capital.

Before joining the Reit as CEO in 2009, McGrath was CEO of Allco Commercial Reit (now known as Frasers Commercial Trust) and managing director of Allco (Singapore), where he established the real estate fund management business. 

Prior to moving to Singapore in 2005, he was a lawyer at Australian law firm Blake Dawson (now known as Ashurst).

Bosera portfolio manager arrested
Shenzhen-based Bosera Asset Management portfolio manager Ma Le was arrested last week on the back of suspicious investment performance, according to media reports.

The 31-year-old is suspected of using non-publicly disclosed information on trading, say media reports citing the Shenzhen Procuratorate, an agency responsible for prosecuting criminal cases.

Ma ran Bosera’s Selected Stock Fund from April 2011 to June 2013. During that period, he is alleged to have used non-publicly disclosed information to trade his own stocks via three different accounts, which were under the name of his wife’s relatives or friends.

He is alleged to have bought the same stock for both his Bosera portfolio and his private accounts. The trading volume was reported to be as much as Rmb1 billion ($163.4 million), with Ma taking a profit of Rmb180 million. 

Bosera said Ma resigned in June for personal reasons. On August 2, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said Ma was suspected of using non-publicly disclosed information in stock trading.

JP Morgan appoints Japan equity sales head
JP Morgan has named Doug Howland as head of equity distribution for Japan, a newly created position. The move follows a surge of investor interest in local stock markets following prime minister Shinzo Abe’s fiscal and monetary stimulus earlier this year.

Howland joined the firm in 2007 and was most recently head of capital markets in Japan. In his new role, he reports to Andrea Casati and Kazuma Naito, co-heads of equity distribution for Asia Pacific. He now runs the team selling Japanese stocks to institutional investors.

Yoshihiro Katsumura assumes sole responsibility for equity capital markets (ECM) in Japan. His title remains the same. Katsumura joined JP Morgan in 2006.

Masaki Inoue assumes sole responsibility for investment-grade debt in Japan. His title also remains the same. Inoue joined the bank in 2008.

As part of the overhaul, Naohisa Ando has joined the ECM team as head of capital markets advisory in Japan. Ando worked at Nomura Securities for more than 20 years, most recently as head of capital markets.

Morgan Stanley hires for fixed income research
Morgan Stanley has bolstered its regional macro research team with the hire of two strategists in Hong Kong. Geoff Kendrick joins as head of Asian FX and local rates, and Kewei Yang will focus on Asia-Pacific interest rates.

Both previously worked at Nomura, Kendrick in London as head of European FX strategy and Yang in Singapore as a rates strategist focused on China fixed income.

Yang reports to Kendrick, who in turn reports to Viktor Hjort, head of Asia fixed income research at Morgan Stanley.

The bank did not by press time provide details of who were the predecessors to Kendrick and Yang.

Nomura is believed to have plans to replace Kendrick. Yujiro Goto, Nomura’s senior FX strategist, relocated from New York to London to help with the transition. The firm has also replaced Yang in Singapore, AsianInvestor understands, but could not ascertain the identiy of the replacement by press time. A Nomura spokesman declined to comment.

Separately, Shih Mei-Yu has joined Nomura in Taipei as head of Taiwan equity sales and trading. She previously spent 12 years at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, most recently as head of Taiwan equity sales, a position she held since 2008.

A Bank of America-Merrill Lynch spokesman did not provide a response by press time as to whether Shih had been replaced.

Japanese broker opens Hong Kong office
Tokyo-based commodities broker Dot Commodity opened an office in Hong Kong on September 2, its first outside Japan. It will put two or three staff there initially.

A spokesman declined to offer future headcount numbers, but says the broker is considering opening more offices in other Asian locations in the near future.

The new office, located in Kowloon, will help the company better serve its regional clients in China, Hong Kong, India, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. It will also serve as a research office.

Dot Commodity started offering front-end trading and market connectivity solutions, as well as brokerage and clearing services, to institutional clients in Asia last year.

Pecker fills Dion slot down under
Indian technology firm Dion Global Solutions has named software industry veteran Rudi Pecker as managing director for Australia and New Zealand and is planning expansion elsewhere in Asia Pacific. He relocates to Melbourne from New York for the position.

Joe Nash previously held the role, but the regional coverage has now been split, with Singapore-based Nash running Asia – alongside his role as global head of mergers and acquisitions – and Pecker in charge of Australia and New Zealand.

“With both regions promising high probability of business growth, it was decided to split the management of the Asia-Pacific business,” says a spokeswoman.

Meanwhile, Dion is planning to expand its presence into new locations – Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand – and market sectors, namely wealth management.

Pecker has been a part of Dion’s executive management team since its inception, having run the operations in the US and India. He has previously held senior executive posts across Australia, Asia, Europe and America with various companies. These roles include a long period at banking software firm Misys and a stint at Religare Technologies. 

Dion provides solutions across investment, retail and commercial banking, institutional trading and investment, wealth management and stockbroking. Its software covers portfolio management, trading, settlement, risk management, compliance, analytics, messaging and workflow, and research services and information products.   

In addition to its Australian and Indian offices, Dion has Asia-Pacific offices in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam. It also has branches in the Americas and Europe.

Other people news reported on AsianInvestor.net this week:

Hong Kong securities firm fined HK$1.6 million

Nikko AM loses Asian equity team, moves to buy boutique

The 25 most influential people in private equity