Weekly roundup of people news, Sept 20

Aberdeen Standard names new Japan chief; Franklin Templeton names Singapore head; JP Morgan AM appoints Asia insurance head; Eastspring adds institutional director; Mercer gets new HK CEO; RBC Wealth hires Asia head; Goldentree opens new Japan office and more.
Weekly roundup of people news, Sept 20


Ken Yajima

Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) has appointed Ken Yajima as chief executive and representative director of its Japan business, based in Tokyo.

Yajima succeeds Neil Slater, who has been appointed deputy head of private markets and global head of real estate. Both appointments will take effect next month.

Yajima will start on October 1 and Slater on October 29, a spokeswoman said. He will report to Ian Macdonald, Singapore-based deputy head of Asia-Pacific.

Yajima was at a time the head of distribution for Japan at rival UK fund house Schroders. He left the firm at the end of September last year, according to a spokesman. AsianInvestor cannot ascertain what he has been doing in the year since he left Schroders.

Neil Slater

Yajima's responsibilities at Schroders have been assumed by country head of Japan Shigesuke Kashiwagi. Prior to joining Schroders, Yajima was with JP Morgan.

Slater will relocate to Edinburgh and report to Peter McKellar, global head of private markets, and Rod Paris, chief investment officer.

While the deputy head of private markets role is a newly created one, Slater succeeds David Paine and Pertti Vanhanen, currently global co-heads of real estate, who are stepping down from their roles.


Franklin Templeton Investments has appointed Dora Seow as country head for Singapore, effective October 1.

Seow was previously head of distribution for Southeast Asia and will retain oversight of the firm’s business in Thailand, Philippines and Brunei. She reports to Mark Browning, Singapore-based managing director for Asia Pacific at the US fund house. 
Seow's appointment comes shortly after Adam Quaife, the current head of Southeast Asia, leaves the firm and relocates to Australia in December, a company spokeswoman said.

Avi Satwalekar will remain country head of Malaysia, and oversee distribution for that country.


JP Morgan Asset Management has brought in Rick Wei from BNP Paribas Asset Management as its new head of Asia ex-Japan insurance strategy.

He started on September 16, replacing Alan Yip, who left in July to join US fund house Neuberger Berman as Asia-Pacific head of portfolio solutions.

Wei is now responsible for representing overall insurance solutions capability to clients, regulators and industry associations at JP Morgan AM, which manages $144 billion of general account assets for insurers globally.

At BNP Paribas AM, Wei was previously head of Asia insurance strategy, a role with different responsibilities from the one he has just taken up. At the French firm he had overseen insurance strategy, research and analytics and supported the sales team.

AsianInvestor reported Wei's departure from the French firm last month. Asked whether he would be replaced, a BNP Paribas AM spokesman had said at the time that the firm was reviewing how the role would best fit the sales team’s strategic goals.

Before joining BNP Paribas in January 2018, Wei spent four years at MetLife Investments in Hong Kong.


Heston Goh
Heston Goh

Eastspring Investments, the fund management arm of insurer Prudential Corporation Asia, has appointed Heston Goh as Singapore-based director of institutional business, effective September.

Goh reports to Daryl Ee, who joined in Singapore in May as head of institutional sales and consultant relations.

An Eastpring spokeswoman told AsianInvestor that Goh's role had been newly created to bolster the institutional sales and client servicing team in Singapore. However, she declined to comment whether his job remit includes other parts of Southeast Asia.

Goh's appointment comes during a period of uncertainty ahead of a the imminent demerger at parent Prudential and follows substantial staff turnover at Eastspring this year. 

He joined from Vanguard, where he was executive director for Southeast Asia. The US fund house declined to comment on whether he would be replaced.


Vicki Fan

Investment consulting firm Mercer has appointed Vicki Fan to the role of chief executive for Hong Kong as of September 9.

Fan reports to Renee McGowan, Asia CEO, and replaces Billy Wong, who left Mercer in June 2019 to pursue other opportunities, a spokeswoman told AsianInvestor.

Fan was previously head of EY’s customer and operations practice. The consultancy declined to comment on when Fan left and who had taken over her responsibilities. 

Prior to her time at EY, Fan worked at KPMG and consulting firms in New York.


RBC Wealth Management has promoted Terence Chow as its head for Asia as the current one is going to retire.

Terence Chow

Chow will assume the Hong Kong-based role on November 1 and reports to Wayne Bossert, Canada-based deputy chair for RBC WM. He replaces Peter Corry, who will retire on October 31 after more than 22 years with the company.

Chow is currently the chief operating officer of RBC WM in Asia. The COO responsibilities will be divided between Hwee Leng Tay and Tony Greenwood after Chow takes up the new role.

Tay, currently head of market support and advisory, has been appointed to the newly-created role of head of business strategy, risk and governance, reporting to Chow. She will continue to be based in Singapore.

Greenwood, head of wealth management operations for Asia, will assume responsibility for the operations teams supporting wealth management for Asia. He reports to Ingrid Versnel, head of operations and technology for wealth management and will continue to be based in Cyberjaya in Malaysia.


GoldenTree Asset Management, a US-based asset manager that specialises in credit investments, has hired Taro Ueda to be its managing director to lead its new office in Tokyo.

GoldenTree did not immediately reply to AsianInvestor’s query about the number of staff in the new office and Ueda’s reporting line.

Ueda joins GoldenTree from fund house Wellington, where he was most recently managing director and relationship manager for Japanese institutional investors. Wellington declined to comment on his departure.

Manoj Ramarao

Manoj Ramarao has left his role as team head for for global South Asia and Middle East at Bank of Singapore.

"Arrangements are in place within the team to cover his duties", a spokesman said. He declined to specify whether that means the company will not seek out a direct replacement and that Ramarao's former duties will be shared among existing members of the team.

Ramarao told AsianInvestor that he was currently unable to disclose his future plans.

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