Axa IM unveils new liquid absolute-return team
Axa Investment Managers this week unveiled details of its new investment team focused on liquid absolute-return strategies – Axa IM Chorus. The French firm said in April it was setting up the business, when Pierre-Emmanuel Juillard re-joined to build and lead the team.

Axa IM Chorus now has 16 professionals based in Hong Kong and plans to add 10 more over the next 18 months, and is working on obtaining regulatory approvals for the team. Asked whether the future additions would also be based in Hong Kong, a spokesperson said it would share further details in due course.

There have been five key recent hires. Jérôme Brochard and Hector Chan joined in June and April as co-chief investment officers. Augustin Landier came on board in July as head of research, Ahcène Garèche arrived in July as senior quant researcher and Philippe Muller started in August as chief technology development officer.

Brochard and Chan both previously worked for Goldman Sachs. Brochard was a London-based managing director in the equities division and on the systematic trading strategies team. Chan was head of Asia-Pacific fixed income, currencies and commodities structuring, based in Hong Kong. 

Before re-joining Axa IM, Juillard had also worked at Goldman as Asia-Pacific head of structuring in the securities division. 

It is understood that the bank has not replaced the three executives and that their responsibilities have been shared among the rest of the team.

Landier is a visiting professor of finance at Harvard Business School and will continue in this role alongside his new post. He was based in Paris from 2012 to 2016 and relocated to Hong Kong in July. 

Muller joins from digital advertising company Criteo, where he was a senior engineering lead based in Paris. Ahcène Garèche joins from UK hedge fund manager Marshall Wace, where he was a quantitative researcher based in London. Criteo and Marshall Wace did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

Axa IM Chorus aims to start marketing products to clients in 2017. 

Harvest Global poaches Dale from Mirae Asset
Harvest Global Investments (HGI), the offshore arm of China’s Harvest Fund Management, said it had appointed Ashley Dale as its chief business development and chief marketing officer in July. 

Dale was previously chief marketing officer and head of international business development at Korea’s Mirae Asset Global Investments. JH Rhee, president and CEO of Mirae Asset GI, has assumed his responsibilities.

Based in Hong Kong at HGI, Dale heads marketing and business development for Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East. He reports to chief executive James Sun.

HGI said Dale's two roles were newly created and would enable it to better coordinate product development, brand building and distribution. 

The firm did not respond by press time to queries about how business development and marketing were overseen previously.

Prior to his role at Mirae Asset, Dale had held positions at CLSA, GLS Capital and SG Securities.

Avendus lures Ambit team for new hedge fund business
Mumbai-based financial services firm Avendus Capital said it had hired the entire eight-strong management team of Indian rival Ambit Investment Advisory for its new hedge fund business.

Andrew Holland, currently Ambit's chief executive, will join Avendus as chief executive of the hedge fund unit, reporting to Avendus CEO Ranu Vohra. Vaibhav Sanhavi, Ambit managing director, will be co-CEO, reporting to Holland. The appointments will take effect in January 2017.

Ambit directors Piyush Shah and Bhautik Ambani will also join, while Ambit will disclose the other names later, a company spokesman said. 

Ambit did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

Bank of Singapore’s Greater China head resigns
Arthur Fong, Bank of Singapore’s head of Greater China, has resigned and is serving his notice.

BoS declined to comment on whether it planned to replace him or whether his resignation was related to the acquisition by its parent company, OCBC, of Barclays' Asia wealth management business this year. 

According to his LinkedIn account, Fong spent nearly five years at BoS. Before that, he was deputy market leader and team head for Singapore at Credit Suisse.  

HSBC loses insurance head to QBE
Australia’s QBE Insurance has appointed Marcelo Teixeira, former global head of insurance at HSBC, as global head of bancassurance and head of strategic development for emerging markets, effective September 5.

Based in Miami, Teixeira reports to David Fried, QBE’s Hong Kong-based chief executive of emerging markets. The bancassurance role was previously held by Jenny Boddington, who has left the company. The remit covering strategic development for emerging markets is newly created.

Before joining QBE, Teixeira was CEO of insurance at HSBC Seguros in Brazil, based in Sao Paolo, from January to July. He was global head of insurance at HSBC from October 2011 to December 2015, responsible for the bank’s insurance and pension businesses.

HSBC did not respond to queries about Teixeira’s replacement by press time.

HSBC Global AM adds market specialist
HSBC Global Asset Management has appointed Grace Tam as associate director and senior market specialist. Based in Hong Kong, she reports to Alison Brown, Hong Kong head of sales for wholesale business.

In her newly created role, Tam will support retail distribution of HSBC funds in Hong Kong and China.

She joins from Credit Suisse Private Banking, where she was a portfolio solutions specialist for a year. She also worked at JP Morgan Asset Management for 10 years, most recently as executive director and global market strategist.

Credit Suisse did not say whether anyone had replaced Tam as of press time.

Credit Suisse hires senior adviser from EY
Credit Suisse appointed Michael Wachtel as a senior adviser in Australia on September 22. Based in Melbourne, Wachtel will work with the bank’s wealth management clients. 

Wachtel was most recently a Melbourne-based partner at professional services firm EY, where he had worked since 2002. He was non-executive chairman for Asia Pacific there from 2010-2015. 

He has been an adviser to Australian multinationals and high-net-worth families for 30 years. He was appointed to the board of Australian state institution the Future Fund in April.

EdR AM replaces responsible investment chief
Jean-Philippe Desmartin joined Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management as head of responsible investment on September 12. Based in Paris, he reports to Philippe Uzan, chief investment officer.

EdR AM said Desmartin was a replacement hire, but declined to say who was in the role previously.

Desmartin was formerly head of environment, social and governance (ESG) at Oddo Securities, where he had worked since 2005.

Julius Baer appoints new marketing head
Swiss private bank Julius Baer has appointed Florence Rollet as its new head of marketing, effective September 26. Based in Zurich, she succeeds co-heads Nicole Chandrashekara and Marco Parroni and reports to chief executive Boris Collardi. 

She joins from jewellery company Tiffany & Co, where she was group vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Chandrashekara will take on a new senior role at Julius Baer, which is yet to be announced. Parroni will remain in the marketing department as head of global sponsoring and Rollet's deputy. 

Other people news reported on AsianInvestor in the past week:

Pimco adds duo for retail entry, mulls China plans

KKR hires Greater China head, starts fundraising