Weekly roundup of people news, Sept 27

Hong Kong's FWD appoints CEO for SCB Life; HKMA shifts deputy CEO responsibilities; family offices Carret Private and Lumen Capital merge, HSBC Private Bank names two private wealth heads; T. Rowe Price sets up multi-asset team in Tokyo; Aberdeen Standards names two ESG experts and more.
Weekly roundup of people news, Sept 27


FWD Group has appointed David Korunić as its Bangkok-based chief executive for SCB Life Assurance in Thailand, as it completed the acquisition of the unit from Siam Commercial Bank on September 26.

Effective as of Friday (September 27), Korunić reports directly to Huynh Thanh Phong, FWD Group's Singapore-based chief executive.

He succeeds Sathian Leowarin, who will remain temporarily as senior advisor to help ensure a smooth transition and handover before returning to Siam Commercial Bank.

He joined FWD Group as business development for Thailand in July, according to his LinkedIn profile. AsianInvestor understands that the role was in preparation for his position as SCB Life's CEO when the deal was being closed.

Before that, Korunić was the CEO of Krungthai-Axa Life Insurance, a position he left in December 2018, according to his LinkedIn profile. Krungthai-Axa Life did not immediately reply to AsianInvestor's queries about his departure. 


The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is adjusting the duties of some senior management linked to its investment operations, ahead of the retirement of chief executive Norman Chan on October 1. 

Howard Lee, deputy CEO, will take over the de facto central bank's reserves management portfolio from Eddie Yue, another deputy CEO, while keeping his existing monetary management portfolio. Yue is being promoted to become HKMA's new CEO, upon Chan's retirement. 

In addition, Hong Kong financial secretary Paul Can Mo-po approved the appointment of Edmond Lau as a senior executive director of HKMA, also effective from October 1.  

Lau is currently the chief executive of Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation Annuity (HKMCA). He will be seconded from the HKMCA to the HKMA to take up the new role, and will oversee the work of external, financial infrastructure and research departments. 


Hong Kong's Carret Private and Singapore-based Lumen Capital Investors – both multi-family offices (MFOs) – have agreed to merge to form a business with a view to accelerating their growth.

The cooperation will extend to several areas, including portfolio management, research, business development and operational optimisation. Between them the two firms have more than $2 billion in assets under management said a spokesman, who declined to be more specific about the number. Carret Private has 23 staff and Lumen Capital 16.

Wilfried Kofmehl, founding Partner of LCI, and Kenny Ho, managing partner of Carret, will run the Singapore and Hong Kong businesses, respectively, for the new entity. There is a five-person executive board overseeing the region, Ho told AsianInvestor.

For the time being, Carret Private and Lumen Capital will continue to operate in their respective markets under their existing name brands. Lumen only has an office in Singapore, while Carret has offices in both Hong Kong and Singapore but is merging the latter branch into the Lumen business.

“We expect that by November 1 we will have merged our Singapore businesses and co-branded the products across the region,” Ho said.

Many have seen the MFO segment in Asia as ripe for consolidation for some time, as that can help such businesses build scale, share infrastructure and product offerings and achieve greater cost-efficiency.

There have been other mergers in recent years, such as that of Schroder Wealth Management's acquisition of Singapore-based Thirdrock earlier this year. Indeed, Carret itself bought an external asset manager, QL Asset Management, back in 2016.


HSBC Private Banking has expanded Cynthia Lee's role from North Asia head of private wealth solutions to cover the Asia Pacific region and named Steven Weekes as head of private wealth solutions for Southeast Asia.

Cynthia Lee

Lee's new role will take effect from October 1 and she will continue to report to Alan Beattie, global head of private wealth solutions. Both are based in Hong Kong. The region was previously covered separately by the North Asia and South East Asia heads, a company spokeswoman said.

Based in Singapore, Weekes joined HSBC PB in September and reports to Lee. He was previously Zurich-based international fiduciary services head at Citi, which declined to comment on his departure.

Weekes replaces Michelle Lau, who has been appointed as managing director for ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) individuals and family office strategic services for Southeast Asia.

This is a newly created role responsible for driving the development of HSBC PB’s UHNW proposition, services for family offices and global connectivity, HSBC said. Lau reports to Philip Kunz, Singapore-based head of private banking for Southeast Asia, said the spokeswoman.


T. Rowe Price has set up a multi-asset team for its Tokyo office, relocating one senior staff member and hired one other to form the team.

Richard Coghlan

Richard Coghlan is a global solutions portfolio manager in the multi-asset division of T. Rowe Price and co-portfolio manager of the real assets fund. He was moved from Baltimore to Tokyo in mid-September. He reports to Sebastien Page, Baltimore-based head of global multi-asset. 

Coghlan's job title did not change, but in his expanded role he works with the firm’s Asia Pacific-based team to develop appropriate income solutions for local markets in the region, while retaining his current responsibilities, a company spokesman said.

Hajime Takigawa

Hajime Takigawa joined T. Rowe Price as Tokyo-based solution strategist on September 2. He reports to Hong Kong-based Thomas Poullaouec, head of multi-asset solutions for Asia Pacific.

Takigawa was previously Tokyo-based senior portfolio manager in implementation services and head of client portfolio management at Russell Investments, according to his LinkedIn profile. Russell Investments did not immediately reply to AsianInvestor’s queries about his departure.

There isn’t a head of Japan multi-asset team at T. Rowe Price per se. Coghlan and Takigawa are working with other members of the global multi asset division, rather than being an independent Japan team on their own. They have different reporting lines and belong to different groups under the division, said the spokesman.

The firm declined to disclose the number of staff in the team right now and its further hiring plans.


Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) has appointed Danielle Welsh-Rose as environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment director for Asia Pacific and Petra Daroczi as investment analyst for ESG in the fixed income space.

Danielle Welsh Rose

Welsh-Rose took up the Sydney-based role on September 16. She reports to Euan Stirling, Edinburgh-based global head of stewardship and ESG investment, and Brett Jollie, Sydney-based managing director for Australia.

Welsh-Rose's newly created role aims to strengthen ASI's ESG expertise and focus. The duties were previously overseen by professionals on the local investment teams across asset classes and the Edinburgh-based global stewardship team, a company spokesman said.

Welsh-Rose joined ASI from Melbourne-based Victorian Funds Management Corporation, where she was head of ESG. The firm did not reply to AsianInvestor's query about her departure.

Daroczi joined ASI as part of the Asian fixed income team on May 27 in Singapore. She reports to Paul Lukaszewski, Singapore-based head of corporate debt for Asia and Australia.

This is also a newly created role, the duties of which were previously overseen by professionals on the Asia-Pacific fixed income team, the spokesman said.

Daroczi joined ASI from Thomson Reuters, where she was regional ESG ambassador in Singapore. 


Hong Kong-based Value Partners has seen Mak Ling-kai, its former co-managing director of quantitative investment solutions and a senior portfolio manager, leave to join WeLab as the Hong Kong-based online lending platform's head of wealth management for virtual banking.

Mak Ling-kai

He joined the firm this month, his LinkedIn profile shows. Mak left Value Partners in January, and the quantitative investment solutions (QIS) business has since been led by David Quah alone, who is the managing director of QIS since August 2017. Before that, Quah and Mak jointly managed the QIS business, a company spokeswoman said.

Mak did not reply to AsianInvestor's queries about his job duties in WeLab.


Capital Group has named Alton Gwee as senior investment product specialist for Asia-Pacific, who joined on August 20, based in Singapore.

Gwee reports to London-based Matthew Dresch, investment product services senior manager. His role is newly created for the firm’s fixed income business.

He joined from UBS Asset Management as director of fixed income portfolio specialist in Singapore. An UBS Asset Management spokeswoman said Gwee left in late July. The firm declined to comment on whether the role will be replaced.

Other people news reported by AsianInvestor last week:

Eastspring CIO departs; new CEO seen being sought

¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.