ROBECO HIRES JAPAN EQUITIES PM FROM SAFE HK

Dutch asset manager Robeco has hired Kelvin Leung in Hong Kong as a portfolio manager in the Asia Pacific equity team this month. Leung joins from SAFE Investment, the Hong Kong branch of China's sovereign wealth fund, AsianInvestor can reveal.

Leung, who joined on September 1, reports to Arnout van Rijn, Asia Pacific chief investment officer.  Leung is an addition to the team who is initially focusing on Japanese equities, a spokesperson said.

Leung covered Japan large-cap equities at SAFE Investment where he worked from August 2014 to August 2017, according to his LinkedIn profile. He had also worked at Manulife Asset Management. SAFE declined to comment on Leung’s replacement.

MANULIFE NAMES REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT HEAD

Manulife has poached a real estate investment professional from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA).

Kenny Lam joined Manulife on September 22 as Hong Kong-based managing director, head of Asia real estate investments. He reports to Michael McNamara, global head of real estate investments, based in New York.

This is newly-created position in Manulife. There was nobody looking after Lam’s current remit before and he will grow his team in the future, a company spokesman said.

Lam left his role as chief manager of direct investment in the real estate team at the HKMA. Samson Wong has taken over from him.

HSBC APPOINTS SE ASIA GLOBAL PB HEAD

HSBC Private Bank has named Philip Kunz as head of global private banking for Southeast Asia.

Based in Singapore, Kunz will be responsible for driving and executing HSBC’s strategy for private banking across the region.

His exact start date has not been decided, a company spokesman said.

Kunz will report locally to HSBC Singapore’s chief executive officer, Tony Cripps, and functionally to regional head of global private banking, Asia Pacific, Tan Siew Meng.

He replaces Sandeep Sharma, who left in early September.

Kunz was most recently wealth management operating head for South East Asia for UBS Wealth Management, a role created in June 2017 by the wealth firm. He spent the previous seven years as Indonesia market head for UBS WM.

A replacement has not been announced, a UBS spokeswoman said. 

CHINA RENAISSANCE HIRES PE FUND PARTNER

Beijing-based investment bank China Renaissance Group announced on September 26 it had appointed Wei Ke as a partner for its private equity investment platform, New Economy Fund, and member of the investment committee.

The appointment is an addition to the team and took effect on September 18, a spokesperson said. Wei will report to Bao Fan, chairman and chief executive.

The New Economy Fund is a private equity investment platform under China Renaissance, focusing on innovation-driven, high-growth businesses. The fund oversees three renminbi-denominated funds and two US dollar-denominated funds, with combined assets under management exceeding Rmb20 billion ($3 billion).

Wei was most recently a managing director at US private equity firm General Atlantic, where he focused on investments in the technology, media, and telecom (TMT) and consumer sectors. GA did not respond to requests for comment. He had also worked at private equity firm Actis and Boston Consulting Group.

BNP PARIBAS WM APPOINTS FX HEAD

BNP Paribas wealth management has poached a foreign exchange expert from Citi Private Bank.

Shafali Sachdev joined its BNP Paribas’ wealth management division as head of forex advisory and execution, Asia Pacific, in early September. She reports to Arnaud Tellier, head of investment services, Asia Pacific. Both are based in Singapore.

The role is understood to be a newly created one. Tellier had been responsible for FX advisory and execution and continues to supervise the activities after Sachdev came on board. Sachdev will help to enhance the delivery of services to clients.

Sachdev was previously the Singapore-based head of forex and structured fixed income, currencies and commodities at Citi Private Bank, according to her Linkedin profile. Citi declined to comment on her departure.

MANULIFE AM NAMES PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

Manulife Asset Management has lured a product manager from BNY Mellon.

Flora Lee has become the director of product development at the asset manager, according to her LinkedIn profile. Manulife AM declined to comment on the new appointment.

Lee was the Hong Kong-based product manager at BNY Mellon, a position she left on August 30. The company has not found a replacement yet, a spokesman said.

CREDIT SUISSE LOSES NRI TEAM HEAD

Credit Suisse Private Banking has lost a team head on the non-resident Indian (NRI) desk.

Ashwin Jayaram has left the bank and  joined Bank J Safra Sarasin on September 21.

He was based in Singapore and reported to Balakrishnan Kunnambath, group head for NRI Asia Pacific and the Indian sub-continent.

Credit Suisse and Bank J Safra Sarasin declined to comment.

JANUS HENDERSON GLOBAL FIXED INCOME CHIEF TO STEP DOWN

Kumar Palghat will step down from the role of global head of fixed income at Janus Henderson Investors in November.

However, he will stay on as a portfolio manager at Janus's subsidiary Kapstream Capital, which he was working as alongside his duties as head of fixed income. Palghat is based in Sydney.

Kapstream Capital was acquired by Janus in 2015. Janus Capital and Henderson Global Investors completed their merger in May 2017.

A company spokesman said that Palghat had decided to step down from his role for family-related reasons.

Jim Ceilinski will replace him from November 1 at the investment firm’s London office. Ceilinski was most recently global head of fixed income for Columbia Threadneedle Investments.

Columbia Threadneedle did not respond to AsianInvestor queries by press time.

Palghat had also worked previously for Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

*This story has been updated to reflect the fact Palghat is based in Sydney, not Singapore.

PRINCIPAL POACHES SENIOR SALES FROM MANULIFE AM

Principal has hired a senior sales from Manulife Asset Management.

Jeff Kwong joined Principal as senior manager in mutual fund sales & distribution on August 1. He reports to Camill Cheung, head of mutual fund & distributions. Both of them are based in Hong Kong.

Principal declines to tell who was in this role prior to Kwong’s appointment and the size of the team led by Kwong.

Kwong was previously the senior manager in business development in Manulife AM, which declined to comment on the departure.

PINEBRIDGE POACHES PRODUCT SPECIALIST FROM SSGA

PineBridge Investments appointed Louis So as vice-president for product development this month. So joined from State Street Global Advisors where he was vice-president for Asia ex-Japan funds management.

So’s appointment took effect on September 4 and he is an additional hire, a spokesperson said. Based in Hong Kong, he reports to Catherine Cheung, Asia head of product development.

So’s last day at SSGA was August 28, and the firm is hiring and looking for a suitable candidate as a replacement, a spokesperson said.

BNPP AM HIRES EM DEBT SPECIALIST FROM WTW

BNP Paribas Asset Management has hired a an emerging markets debt product specialist from global advisory firm Willis Towers Watson.

Effective September 25, Karan Talwar became emerging markets fixed income investment specialist, a newly created role based out of Hong Kong. Talwar will be responsible for commercialising BNPP AM’s emerging markets fixed income offering, covering both global and Asia EM debt, according to a BNP spokesman.

Prior to the creation of the role, EM fixed income coverage was based in the UK. He reports to Bryan Carter, London-based head of EM fixed income.  

Talwar was most recently senior investment consultant for fixed income research at Willis Towers Watson in London, according to his LinkedIn profile. He was also an analyst at litigation consulting firm Cornerstone Research in Los Angeles.

Willis Towers Watson declined to comment on Karan’s previous role with the company, his last day, or his replacement. 

ZEDRA GROUP APPOINTS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR IN SINGAPORE

Trust and fiduciary firm Zedra Group has appointed Eileen Yee as executive director of its Singapore office.

Yee, whose appointment was announced on September 25 after she joined earlier in the month, will be responsible for developing Zedra’s pan-Asian trust business, focusing on structuring solutions for local Asian families with complex asset holdings.The role is newly created, according to a Zedra spokesman.

She reports to Wendy Sim, managing director of the Singapore office.

Yee has over 20 years experience in the Singaporean high net worth wealth management sector, holding senior roles with Standard Chartered Trustees, Padang Trust Singapore, Merrill Lynch Bank and Trust Company, and UBS.

She is also a qualified lawyer, holding non-practicing advocate and solicitor status in Singapore, and barrister-at-law status in the UK, according to her bio on the Zedra website.

JUPITER AM NAMES GLOBAL HEAD OF INSTITUTIONAL

British fund manager Jupiter Asset Management has hired Jill Barber as global head of institutional from American asset management firm Franklin Templeton.

Effective October 16, Barber will lead Jupiter’s global development of its institutional business, focusing on expanding the fund manager’s institutional client base, both in the UK and internationally. The role is new, taking on duties previously held by the wider institutional sales team, according to a spokesman.

She will be based in London and report to Nick Ring, global head of distribution, a Jupiter spokesman said.

Barber was most recently head of institutional (UK and Ireland) at Franklin Templeton for four years. She was also business development and consultant relations director at Hermes Fund Managers, and director of EMEA institutional group at Fidelity Worldwide Investment, according to her LinkedIn.

Other people news reported on AsianInvestor in the past week:

HKMA shuffles investment chiefs

Another top executive to depart Fullerton FM

CPPIB grows principal credit team in Asia