OTPP STARTS BUILDING HIGH-CONVICTION EQUITIES TEAM IN SINGAPORE

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is seeking an investment associate for a high-conviction equities (HCE) team it is setting up in Singapore, where it has just opened a new office and appointed Bruce Crane as its first Asia Pacific head of infrastructure.  

The C$207 billion ($155 billion) Canadian retirement fund will be adding more HCE staff in Singapore in the coming months, potentially by both making new regional hires and transferring talent from elsewhere. 

OTPP already has an HCE team in Hong Kong, its main regional office, and is looking to further strengthen its coverage of Asia Pacific markets.

It is also recruiting for its HCE teams elsewhere, looking for a senior principal in London and an investment associate in Toronto. These teams make large, strategic investments in companies in private companies at the pre-IPO stage.

Moreover, OTPP’s real estate investment arm, Cadillac Fairview, aims this year to place staff in Asia for the first time.

STATE STREET NAMES NEW APAC, CHINA AND ASSET OWNER HEADS

State Street has appointed Mostapha Tahiri as head of Asia Pacific and Joanne Chen as head of China, both of whom have joined the asset servicing giant from BNP Paribas.

Having joined in Singapore on August 26, Tahiri succeeds Ian Martin, who has taken on the newly created role of global head of asset owner segment and remains in Hong Kong. Martin's appointment reflects the firm's move to a new 'global segment model'.

 

Tahiri reports jointly to Andrew Erickson, Boston-based chief productivity officer and chief executive for State Street’s international business, and Francisco Aristeguieta, Hong Kong-based chief executive of the institutional services business.

Chen joined State Street in Beijing on August 31 and replaces Lisa Lou, who left State Street to pursue new opportunities in July, the spokeswoman said. Chen reports to Tahiri.

Joanne Chen

Lou formerly held the title of head of global services for China and was also general manager of the Beijing branch.

Tahiri was previously Asia Pacific chief executive of BNP Paribas Securities Services. He was succeeded by Franck Dubois on September 1 who is based in Hong Kong. 

Chen was formerly head of financial institutions coverage for China at BNP Paribas, a role she left in early 2019. She was replaced by Wang Yujiang, AsianInvestor understands. BNP Paribas declined to comment on her departure.

BNY MELLON IM OPENS TAIWAN OFFICE, NAMES HEAD

BNY Mellon Investment Management has promoted Rebecca Chu to head of Taiwan, effective September 1, after the US firm received regulatory approval to open the Taipei office last Friday (August 28). It was granted a securities investment consulting enterprise (Sice) licence in Taiwan in July. 

Rebecca Chu

The Sice licence allows the fund house to sell its products onshore via a master agent, which in BNY Mellon IM's case will be Taiwan Cooperative Securities Investment Trust.

Chu now reports to Nicolas Kopitsis, Singapore-based head of intermediary for Asia Pacific ex Japan. She was previously a Hong Kong-based vice president for institutional distribution. BNY Mellon IM will not fill Chu's former post after she moves to Taipei, a company spokeswoman said.

Including Chu, there are now three staff in the new Taipei office. The others are business development manager Jessie Chan and a business support executive. BNY Mellon IM does not have immediate plans to hire more staff, the spokeswoman said.

FIDELITY APPOINTS ASIAN EQUITIES DIRECTOR

Fidelity International has hired Victoria Mio from Dutch fund house Robeco as director of Asian equities. She will start on September 14 in the newly created role, said a Fidelity spokeswoman. She did not respond to questions on why the role had been created. 

Victoria Mio
Victoria Mio

Mio will oversee the research management team and equity analysts and report to Ned Salter, head of equities for for global research and Asia ex-Japan. Both are based in Hong Kong.

Mio's arrival comes after Medha Samant, a former investment director of Asia Pacific equities at Fidelity, left in June, with her responsibilities being covered by existing members of the investment director team. 

The Fidelity spokeswoman said Mio’s appointment was not related to the departure of Samant. AsianInvestor could not ascertain Samant's next move.

Mio is currently Robeco's chief investment officer for China and co-head of Asia Pacific equities and will leave the firm on September 11.

Jie Lu, head of research for China, will become head of investments for China and will take over Mio’s responsibilities, said a Robeco spokeswoman.

This story has been updated to indicate that Victoria Mio will not head Asia Pacific investment functions but will have oversight of research management team and equity analysts.

UNIGESTION'S ASIA HEAD EXITS TO START ADVISORY FIRM

Nicholas Hulme
Nicholas Hulme

Nicholas Hulme, Singapore-based Asia general manager of Unigestion, left the Swiss asset manager on August 18 and has set up fundraising and advisory firm Contineo Capital in the same city.

Unigestion’s Asian business is supported by the teams in London and Geneva, said a spokeswoman, but she declined to comment on whether the firm would replace Hulme.

Contineo went live on August 20, said Hulme, who is currently the only employee but he plans to add more staff in the coming months. He is expecting to obtain a licence by the first quarter of next year.

MERCER NAMES JAPAN CEO AND COO

Yasushi Kusaka

Investment consultancy Mercer has appointed Yasushi Kusaka as Japan chief executive and Keiko Shimada as Japan chief operating officer, effective September 1.

Kusaka reports to Renee McGowan, Hong Kong-based Asia chief executive officer at Mercer. He replaces Tatsuya Kamoi, who left Mercer in October last year. Shimada had been interim CEO in the meantime, a company spokeswoman said.

Kusaka was most until July chairman of Japanese fintech startup Robot Fund. Prior to this, he was partner and chief operating officer at Ernst & Young Tax in Japan and before that Japan CEO at insurer BNP Paribas Cardif (Non-life).

Shimada now reports to Kusaka, having been interim CEO for the last 10 months and before that head of the multinational client group and of global M&A consulting for Mercer in Japan. This role is now assumed by Koji Suzuki, the spokeswoman said.

Mercer previously had a Japan COO, but the role has been vacant for a while, AsianInvestor understands.

HK SFC BANS FORMER UBS CLIENT ADVISER 

Hong Kong’s securities regulator has banned Masy Lo Mee Chi, a former client adviser of Swiss bank UBS in Hong Kong, from the industry for eight months for dishonest conduct. The sanction will run from August 29, 2020 to April 28, 2021.

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) found that when Lo was handling the request of a trust’s settlor in July 2017, she sought to mislead the trustee into believing that the settlor had signed an amended request letter in connection with the purchase of a fund for the trust account.

Without the settlor’s approval, Lo appended a scanned version of the settlor’s signature from an earlier request letter signed by the settlor, and submitted it to the trustee as if it was signed by the settlor.

The SFC considers that Lo’s conduct was dishonest and calls into question her fitness and properness to be a licensed or registered person.

In deciding the sanction against Lo, the regulator took into account all relevant circumstances, including her otherwise clean disciplinary record.

WELLINGTON NAMES NEW CEO

Jean Hynes

Wellington Management has announced that managing partner Jean Hynes will replace chief executive Brendan Swords when he retires from the US fund house on June 30 next year.

During her nearly 30 years at the Boston-based firm, Hynes has researched the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries and been a healthcare portfolio manager and leader of the healthcare research team.

Since 2014 she has served as one of Wellington’s three managing partners alongside Swords, who has also been with the $1 trillion fund house for nearly 30 years, since 1992.