Weekly roundup of people news, Sept 11

Point72 sees Apac business development head exit; Value Partners loses new COO; William Blair opens Singapore office; NZ Super adds new board member; Bursa Malaysia appoints former Kwap CEO; Eastspring names new Thailand CEO; Capital Group names product head for Asia and Europe; Neuberger appoints first official institutions head, and more.
Weekly roundup of people news, Sept 11


Howard Man has left his role as Hong Kong-based head of business development for Asia Pacific at Point72 Asset Management, AsianInvestor can reveal. 

Howard Man

His Hong Kong regulatory licence with the Connecticut-headquartered firm ended on August 25 and he had joined in July 2014. Before that he was head of trading for Asia ex-Japan cash equities at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Man took up the business development role at Point72 in March and was previously head of Asia Pacific equities there, a spokeswoman told AsianInvestor. Marc Desmidt, head of Asia Pacific, has responsibility for the equities business, she added.

Point72 is not naming a replacement for Man right now as there is a strong business development team already in place, the spokeswoman said. Desmidt and Tomohiro Yamaguchi, head of Japan, will continue to work closely with them to support recruiting efforts, she added.

Point72 is the family office of Steven Cohen, the founder and former head of now-defunct hedge fund SAC Capital. It opened to external capital in 2018.   

AsianInvestor could not ascertain Man's next move.

This story has been updated to clarify that Man took up the business develoment role in March, having previously been head of Asia Pacific equities.


Patricia Cheung left her role as chief operating officer at Value Partners on August 21, AsianInvestor can reveal.

Icy Wong, Value Partners’ chief financial officer and chief administrative officer, will now also oversee the operation functions, the spokeswoman said. After working in finance for almost 20 years, Cheung has decided to pursue her career interest in another industry, a company spokeswoman told AsiaInvestor.

Cheung had only assumed the COO role on May 1 this year. Before that, she had been co-COO alongside Roger Hepper, who retired from Value Partners at the end of April. 

Cheung's departure follows a round of staff cuts in this year at Value Partners and a few years of upheaval for the embattled Hong Kong-based fund manager.



Chicago-based William Blair Investment Management launched an Asian arm in Singapore at the start of September. The firm has appointed Clifford Lau and Johnny Chen as emerging market debt portfolio managers. 

Clifford Lau

Lau, who joined on July 1, heads the new office, while Chen joined in February. Both report to Marcelo Assalin, head of emerging market debt.

Lau joined from Columbia Threadneedle Investments, where he was head of fixed income for Asia Pacific. The firm’s spokeswoman said he left in June last year, with his responsibilities taken up by Tim Jagger, London-based head of emerging market debt.

Chen joined from Dutch fund house NN Investment Partners, where he was Singapore-based portfolio manager of local currency emerging market debt. He resigned in November last year, the firm’s spokeswoman said. This followed a merger of the emerging market debt teams of NNIP and MN in September.   


The Guardians of NZ Superannuation has appointed Rosemary Vilgan to its board from October 1 for a five-year term. She replaces Stephen Moir, who is rotating off the board having served since 2009, according to a press statement.

Rosemary Vilgan

Vilgan is currently the chairwoman of the Commonwealth Bank Group Staff Superannuation Fund and is also the chairwoman of the Federal Government’s Safety, among other credentials.

The NZ Super Fund is projected to reach NZ$70 billion ($46.6 billion) of assets under management within the next decade. Vilgan will help the Guardians scale up as the fund grows to that size, said chairwoman Catherine Savage.

Wan Kamaruzaman

Bursa Malaysia has appointed Wan Kamaruzaman Wan Ahmad, former chief executive of Malaysian public pension fund Kwap, as a public interest director on its board of directors, effective September 1.

Wan Kamaruzaman was CEO of Kwap from 2013 to 2018, according to a statement released by Malaysia stock exchange. Syed Hamadah Othman succeeded him.


Eastspring Investments has appointed Adisorn Sermchaiwong as chief executive of TMBAM Eastspring and Thanachart Fund Eastspring (TFund ES), effective September 10.

Adisorn Sermchaiwong

Sermchaiwong is responsible for overseeing the integration of Eastspring’s two Thai asset management businesses and growing the firm’s retail and institutional presence in this market. He reports to Seck Wai-Kwong, Singapore-based chief executive of Eastspring.

He replaces Boonchai Kiattanavith, CEO of TFund ES, and Somjin Sornpaisarn, CEO of TMBAM Eastspring. Kiattanavith is leaving to pursue other interests and Sornpaisarn is retiring after 11 years as CEO of TMBAM Eastspring.

Sermchaiwong joins Eastspring from CIMB Thai Bank, where he was president and chief executive. CIMB Thai Bank could not be reached for comment.

Eastspring acquired 65% of TMB Asset Management (now TMBAM Eastspring) in September 2018, and 50.1% of Thanachart Fund (now Thanachart Fund Eastspring) in December 2019. Through Eastspring’s combined holdings, the firm is the fifth largest asset manager in Thailand with a market share of 8% and combined AUM of Bt370 billion ($12 billion).


Alexandra Haggard

Capital Group has appointed Alexandra Haggard to the newly created role of head of product and investment services for Asia and Europe.

Haggard started at the US fund house on September 1 and reports to Guy Henriques, head of Asia and Europe client group. Both are based in London.

Before Haggard came on board, several senior executives across Asia and Europe looked after her investment services responsibilities.

She joins from BlackRock, where she was until August global head of equity product management and head of strategic pricing for Europe, Middle East and Africa. BlackRock declined to comment on whether she would be replaced. 


Jahangir Aka

Neuberger Berman has named Jahangir Aka, previously head of the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) at the US fund house, as its first global head of official institutions.

The appointment comes as Kaveh Samie has joined from private equity firm KKR as executive chairman and head of Mena. Based in Dubai, he will oversee client coverage across the region. Samie was previously chief executive and head of Mena and new markets at KKR, which did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

Starting on September 1 in the new post in London, Aka has relocated from Dubai. He continues to report to Dik van Lomwel, chief executive for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

Aka told AsianInvestor that the official institutions role had been created to give "greater importance and coordination to this very sophisticated and important client group".

More such organisations have become clients of Neuberger as the firm has expanded its assets under management and footprint in recent years, he added.

Aka will work closely with the client coverage teams across Neuberger's 37 offices, including in Asia.

He had been head of Mena since February 2015, having previously worked at SEI Investments since 2006, most recently as head of Middle East. Before joining SEI, he spent eight years at Standard Chartered Bank in roles across Europe, Asia and the Middle East.


Ravi Raju
Ravi Raju

Nomura has named Ravi Raju as head of international wealth management, effective from September 10.

Based in Singapore, Raju reports to Rig Karkhanis, deputy head of global markets and head of global markets for Asia ex-Japan, and Steve Ashley, global head of wholesale. 

Despite his job title, Raju's primary responsibility will be to expand the firm’s wealth management business in the Asia ex-Japan region, in close alignment with the global markets and investment banking businesses. He could expand his expertise to other regions subsequently, but there is no immediate or concrete plan for that, said a spokesman for Nomura.

The appointment followed a restructuring in April that combined Nomura’s wealth management business in Asia ex-Japan with the bank's wholesale division. Priot to this shift, wealth management business in Asia ex-Japan was part of Nomura's retail business in Japan.

Raju joined from UBS Wealth Management, where he was Asia Pacific head of ultra-high-net-worth clients. The Swiss firm in January restructured its global wealth management unit, which saw the UHNW unit absorbed into the expanded global family office team. 


Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx) has appointed Richard Wise as group chief risk officer (CRO), effective from November this year.

Wise will oversee the group’s risk management functions, including group credit and quantitative analysis, group cyber and technology risk management, and enterprise risk management. He will report to HKEx chief executive Charles Li, and join the company’s management committee, according to a media statement.

Wise will succeed John Killian, who took on the role of group risk officer earlier this year and will remain with HKEx until the first quarter of 2021.

Wise joins HKEx from Credit Suisse, where he is currently CRO for Asia Pacific. He will relocate to Hong Kong from Singapore for the new role. A spokeswoman for Credit Suisse said Hiroshi Kobayashi was succeeding Wise. 

Other people news reported in the past week by AsianInvestor:

Taikang Insurance building out offshore investment arm

Eaton Vance's Asia head Rob White resigns

¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.