Weekly roundup of people news, Sept 15

Manulife names Asia CEO; T. Rowe Price grabs APAC multi-asset head; StanChart bulks up North Asia private banking team; DBS expands team; Harvest Global adds HK staff; Taiwan FSC names chairman and many more.
Weekly roundup of people news, Sept 15


Manulife has named its new Asia CEO amid global management reshuffle.

Effective November 13, Anil Wadhwani will officially become Hong Kong-based president and CEO of Manulife Asia. He will report to Toronto-based Roy Gori, who will become CEO of Manulife on October 1. Wadhwani will oversee Manulife Asia's operations, which include over 12,000 people and 71,000 agents across 12 territories in Asia.

Gori was the former CEO for Manulife’s Asia Division. When it was announced in May that Gori would become CEO of Manulife, Phil Witherington was named interim CEO of the Asia Division. Witherington will become CFO of Manulife in January 2018, a company spokesman said.

Wadhwani was previously head of operations for Citi's global consumer bank, a position he left in early September. Bill Johnson, CEO of Citi retail services, is managing the operations team on an interim basis, according to a company spokesman.

Separately, Naveed Irshad, currently working as CEO of Manulife Singapore, will also move to become head, North America legacy business on January 1, 2018. The process of finding Irshad's successor is now under way.

Apart from Asia, Manulife has also announced a number of important leadership changes elsewhere.

Effective October 1, Paul Lorentz will replace retiring Kai Sotorp to become Manulife’s head, global wealth and asset management. Marianne Harrison will become president and CEO of John Hancock, Manulife's US business. Harrison’s role as president and CEO of Manulife Canada will be taken by Michael Doughty, who is promoted internally.


T. Rowe Price Group has named a head for multi-asset solutions for Asia Pacific.

Effective September 8, Thomas Poullaouec has become the US fund house’s Hong Kong-based head of multi-asset solutions for APAC. He reports to Baltimore-based Peter Austin, global head of multi-asset solutions.

The role is a newly created one to expand the multi-asset solutions business to APAC, a company spokesman said. Peter Austin oversaw activities in APAC before the joining of Poullaouec.

Initially, it will be a team of two in the APAC region, Thomas and a solutions strategist, a role that is being filled at the moment.

The appointment is the latest senior hire for the firm’s multi-asset division, following the appointments of Lowell Yura, as head of multi-asset solutions for North America, and Yoram Lustig, as head of multi-asset solutions for Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) in June this year. Its multi-asset solutions group has an AUM of US$265 billion as of June 30.

Poullaouec previously worked at State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), where he last held the position of managing director and head of strategy and research for Asia Pacific at the firm’s investment solutions group. He left SSGA in June.

SSGA is still looking for a replacement for Poullaouec. In the interim, Kevin Anderson, head of investments in Asia Pacific, along with Mark Wills, head of portfolio management in Asia Pacific for SSGA’s investment solutions group, will oversee the Asia Pacific strategy & research team, a company spokesman said.


Franklin Templeton Investments has named a country head for Malaysia.

Effective September 8, Avinash Satwalekar becomes the Kuala Lumpur-based country head of Malaysia and CEO of Franklin Templeton Asset Management (Malaysia) to lead the firm’s retail and institutional distribution efforts there. He reports to Adam Quaife, Singapore-based regional head for Southeast Asia.

He replaces Sandeep Singh, who has moved to Dubai to take on the position of senior director and regional head, Central/Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA).

Satwalekar was previously the Ho Chi Minh City-based CEO and CIO for Vietcombank Fund Management (VCBF), a joint venture between Franklin Templeton and Vietcombank in Vietnam.

Effective July 15, Vu Quang Dong has been appointed to replace Avinash as the new CEO of VCBF, while Avinash will continue to serve as CIO on an interim basis. 


Standard Chartered has appointed Ying-Ying Tan as regional head, securities services, Asean & South Asia (ASA) for driving the securities services business across the nine countries in ASA.

Starting the new role on August 26, she reports to Margaret Harwood-Jones, global head, securities services, transaction banking. Both are based in Singapore.

It is a newly created role following the reorganisation of securities services into a global business line, a spokesman said. Margaret Harwood-Jones was looking after this region while in addition to her responsibilities as global head of securities services before Tan came on board.

Tan was previously the Singapore-based head of securities services for Asia Pacific at Deutsche Bank. Anand Rengarajan has replaced her after her departure.


Udit Gambhir, formerly business head for Asia and managing director of Singapore Cim Global Business, has been appointed managing director of SGG Asia from September.

Gambhir (pictured below) will lead SGG’s strategy for Singapore, Hong Kong, India and the broader Asian region from Singapore. 

Cim Global Business, a provider of corporate, trust and fund administration services with offices in Mauritius, South Africa and Singapore, was recently acquired by the Luxembourg-based SGG group.

The SSG group did not have a physical presence in Singapore before the acquisition apart from a representative office, which has now become a full-fledged office.Gambhir’s role is newly created and is part of its overall Asia growth strategy, a spokeswoman said.

SGG Group offers administrative and accounting solutions for investment funds, multinational corporations and family offices.

SSG did not comment on who would replace Gambirr.

Gambhir used to previously work in the transaction banking division of Standard Chartered Bank.


GoldenTree Asset Management, an institutional asset management firm that specialises in credit opportunities, has opened an office in Sydney, Australia, and appointed Russell Taylor as managing director. 

The Sydney office follows the opening of an office in Singapore three years ago.

Taylor was managing director and head of credit sales at JP Morgan. He left in late July. A JP Morgan spokesperson did not comment on whether a replacement had been named.

GoldenTree did not respond to queries by the time AsianInvestor went to press.


Standard Chartered Private Bank announced a string of hires as it strengthened its Greater China and North Asia team.

Jack Wu joined as managing director and market head based in Hong Kong on September 11, while Pauline Ko joined as managing director and market head based in Hong Kong on August 29.

Wu was previously managing director and team head for Greater China at HSBC Private Bank in Hong Kong. Ko was previously managing director and group head for Greater China at Deutsche Bank Wealth Management.

Both report to Vivian Chan, regional head of private banking for GCNA.

In addition, Pitman Lau joined as managing director and team leader from BNP Paribas on August 28. He reports to Harry Lai, market head of GCNA. Plus Reggie Chung joined as executive director and team leader from HSBC on September 11. He reports to Wu.

The private bank’s investment advisory team also added Chris Tang, Kwok-On Fung and Chris Tong in late August as executive directors for investment advisory.

Tang joins from Bank of Singapore, Fung from securities firm Shengwan Hongyuan and Tong from HSBC Private Bank.

Standard Chartered did not state who the trio report to.

The regional front office team also added 10 additional relationship managers, including Bell Wong from BNP Paribas and Fredric Leung from Bank of Singapore. Both were appointed as executive directors in late August. Standard Chartered did not provide details on who Wong or Leung reported to.

The new hires bring the total number of experienced bankers and advisors hired since the last quarter of 2016 to over 50.

All the roles are newly created and based in Hong Kong. The expansion is part of the private bank’s ambitions for Greater China, a key growth market.

BNP Paribas declined to comment on the departures as did HSBC Private Bank. Bank of Singapore did not respond to queries sent by AsianInvestor.


Daniel Li joined DBS in August as regional head, wealth advisory enablement and order management architecture.

Part of the bank’s regional investment products and advisory team, Li will focus on the implementation of the regional wealth portfolio advisory framework.

He is also tasked with developing and executing a blueprint for scalable and cost-effective investment product order management platforms.

He joins from Standard Chartered, where he was head of wealth solutions delivery. He left the bank in May.

Standard Chartered declined to comment whether a replacement has been named.


Harvest Global Investments has announced three hires in its Hong Kong office.

Kathy Zhang joined as China equity strategist from Credit Suisse in June 2017. In this newly created role, she will be responsible for equity strategy research on both Hong Kong and A-share stock markets. She reports to Thomas Kwan, chief investment officer at HGI.

Credit Suisse declined to comment on Zhang’s departure.

It also hired Kenn An in July as head of product. He will oversee product development at the asset manager. 

Previously An (pictured left) was head of product and marketing at UBS SDIC, UBS Asset Management's joint venture in China, where he was responsible for cross border investment products and business development. UBS did not respond to requests for information by press time. 

An reports to chief marketing officer and chief business development officer, Ashley Dale. HGI said An comes in as a replacement, but declined to comment on who he replaces.

Finally, Winnie Wong has joined as fixed income portfolio manager from Royal Bank of Canada, where she was research analyst and portfolio manager for the Asian convertibles and fixed income portfolios. Her appointment was reported earlier by AsianInvestor.


Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen has named Wellington Koo as the new chairman of the regulator Financial Supervisory Commission, effective on September 8.

Koo succeeds Lee Ruey-tsang who is retiring. Prior to the FSC role, Koo was most recently chairman of the Committee of Illegal Party Asset Settlement.

Lee joined FSC on October 27, 2016, to take over the chairman role from Ding Kung-wha, who resigned on October 3 following criticism of the regulator’s handling of a breach of compliance rules in the US by Taiwanese state-run group Mega Financial Holdings.


Shanghai-based fund house HFT Investment Management has named Ren Zhiqiang as its new general manager, effective on September 12. HFT is a joint venture between Haitong Securities and BNP Paribas Investment Partners.

Ren replaced Patrick Liu, who left the firm and joined Neuberger Berman in February as head of China and general manager of the latter’s Shanghai wholly foreign-owned enterprise.

Ren was most recently vice general manager of Shanghai-based joint venture Fortune SG Fund Management until May 31 this year. Fortune SG Fund did not respond to queries about Ren's replacement by press time. 


AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets, the real estate subsidiary of the French insurance giant AXA, is moving its Asia Pacific headquarters from Singapore to Tokyo. As a result, its long-serving global head of Asia Frank Khoo has decided to resign.

Khoo will officially leave the firm at the end of November, and the relocation should be effective early next year, a spokesperson told AsianInvestor.

Laurent Lavergne, head of separate accounts at AXA IM – Real Assets, who is also in charge of the firm’s international business development, said in a statment announced on September 14 that the firm has decided to relocate its Asia Pacific hub, which comprises four people, to Tokyo.

The decision was made following the firm’s establishment of a new office in Seoul, its acquisition and integration of Eureka – Real Assets in Australia in 2016, and the opportunities it is seeing in the market, Lavergne said.

An announcement for Khoo’s replacement will be made in due course, while the relocation “will not impact the service our Singaporean clients receive, as the relationships will continue to be managed by our existing Paris, London or AsiaPac teams in the regions,” Lavergne said.

AXA IM – Real Assets currently manages €3.9 billion ($4.6 billion) in assets, employs more than 40 people and offers services for more than 35 clients in the region, as of June 2017.


Kamet Capital Partners, a single family office based in Singapore, has hired Derek Tay as chief operating officer, effective in July.

Tay joined from Morgan Stanley, where he was head of Southeast Asia equity sales trading for four years until April, and served three-month garden leave there after, Tay told AsianInvestor. He had been with Morgan Stanley for over 11 years.

The COO role was newly created as the firm was newly set up in February, Tay said. He will report to Kerry Goh, who is both chief executive and chief investment officer. The firm now serves one single family, and plans to extend to serve more families in the future, Tay said.

Tay’s previous role with Morgan Stanley is understood to have been replaced. The US bank did not respond to queries by press time. 


American real estate and investment management firm JLL has named Frank Rexach as managing director of enterprise strategy and innovation in Asia Pacific, effective August 1.

Rexach (pictured below) will be based in Shanghai, where he will direct JLL’s real estate solutions in the region, consulting companies on how to align talent, business processes, supply chains, and technology platforms with their strategies and goals.

In this newly created position, Rexach will report to JLL Asia Pacific chief executive Anthony Couse and JLL Asia Pacific corporate solutions chief executive Jordi Martin, according to a company spokeswoman.

Rexach was most recently vice president and general manager of Asia Pacific for American workspace design company Haworth Inc. He left at the end of June.

He has also worked with American adhesives company Avery Dennison and Japanese trading firm Itochu.

After Rexach’s departure, Haworth merged its Asia Pacific sector with Europe and the Middle East to form Haworth International, and is led by Munich-based vice president Henning Figge.


American private equity investment firm TPG Capital has appointed Chang Sun as managing partner in China, effective September 11.

Sun (pictured below) will join TPG’s regional investment team, overseeing investment activities in China for TPG Capital Asia, TPG Growth, and The Rise Fund.

The role will be based in Beijing, with Sun reporting to Tim Dattels, co-managing partner of TPG Capital Asia, according to a company spokeswoman.

Sun was most recently managing partner at Black Soil Group, an impact investing firm he founded in 2015. A TPG spokeswoman confirmed that he would no longer be involved in Black Soil’s day to day operations.

Sun was also previously Asia Pacific chairman at American private equity firm Warburg Pincus, as well as the founder of two industry trade organisations – the China Venture Capital and Private Equity Association and the China Real Estate Developers and Investors’ Association.


Hakim Naji has joined Singaporean private investment firm EightStone as portfolio manager, effective September 1.

Naji was most recently head of investment funds in Asia at Indosuez Wealth Management, based in Singapore. Eightstone declined to comment on the specifics of the role, while Indosuez did not respond to queries about how it would fill Naji's vacant position.

Naji will report to Eightstone’s chief investment officer, Olivier Destandau, according to a company spokesman.

Naji has previously worked for BNG Paribas in Singapore and Argentina. 


Generali has appointed Neil Gardner as chief customer office for Asia, effective August 28.

Based in Hong Kong, Gardner wil be responsible for marketing and communication, digital and analytics, and integrating operations as part of the overall customer experience.

A spokeswoman said this was a newly created role for Generali.

Gardner was previously chief marketing officer for Asia Pacific at AIG.

AsianInvestor was unable to contact AIG before going to press.

Other people news reported on AsianInvestor in the past week:

Great Eastern’s new CIO seen as surprising choice

Fullerton’s Plein talks building a lean, nimble fund house

Fledgling China FoFs require careful use: NCSSF, Amac

Clarification: This story was updated to reflect the correct joining date of Chang Sun to TPG Capital. 

¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.