UBS WM appoints regional investment management head

UBS Wealth Management has appointed Stefan Lecher to succeed Patrick Grossholz as head of investment management in Asia Pacific.

He took over the role, renamed head of client portfolio management, on August 15. Lecher is based in Hong Kong and reports to Bruno Marxer, head of client portfolio management for investment products and services (IPS).

Lecher, who has more than 18 years of financial industry experience, transferred to UBS WM from sister division UBS Asset Management, where he had been head of global investment solutions (GIS) for Asia Pacific.  UBS AM said it had no plans to replace Lecher for the time being.

For the last 12 years, Lecher worked as a multi-asset investment specialist in the GIS team. He became global head strategist in 2008, and his responsibilities included leading the global team of investment specialists, communicating all aspects of UBS AM's multi-asset offering as well as designing multi-asset funds and mandates for institutional and wholesale clients worldwide.

In 2014, he relocated from Zurich to Hong Kong and was appointed regional head of GIS in APAC, in addition to his global functions.

Meanwhile, Grossholz, who spent four years as head of investment management for Asia Pacific, relocated to Switzerland to succeed Daniel Imhof as global head of portfolio-specialists for IPS, effective on August 15. Based in Zurich, Grossholz now reports to Dominic Vail, head of IPS global distribution management.

Imhof had worked in the role from May 2015 until August this year. He remains with the bank in another role, which could not be ascertained by press time.

Adia poaches portfolio transition head from Citi

Sovereign wealth fund Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia) has hired former Citi banker Steven Dalzell as head of transition management within the central dealing department, a newly-created role. The appointment took effect last week.

Dalzell, formerly head of transition management at Citigroup Global Markets, will lead a team responsible for managing and implementing multi-asset-class portfolio transitions, including pre-trade analysis, project planning, implementation and reporting. 

He reports to Salem Alblooshi, executive director of the central dealing department. Dalzell’s responsibilities are understood previously to have been shared by senior managers in the central dealing department. 

A similar approach has been adopted across many of Adia’s departments in recent years, with global heads being added in departments including alternatives, private equity, real estate and internal equities. They all report to a department head. A similar move in its operation department was reported a week ago.

Dalzell moved to Abu Dhabi from London after six years as global head of transition management at Citigroup Global Markets. Citi didn't respond to queries about Dalzell's replacement by press time. Before that, he spent 11 years with BlackRock and Merrill Lynch Investment Managers.

Julius Baer names Low to SE Asia role

Swiss private bank Julius Baer has hired Magdalene Low as team head for Southeast Asia.

Julius Baer’s spokesperson in Singapore confirmed Low's arrival and job title but would not say whether this is an additional hire as part of its expansion in the region or a replacement. 

Low was previously an executive director at UBS Wealth Management in Singapore, according to her LinkedIn profile.

UBS Wealth Management said Low had been a desk head in the Malaysia team before leaving in August, and would not be replaced.

Amundi hires global head of smart beta

French asset manager Amundi has appointed Bruno Taillardat as head of smart beta, a newly-created role, effective September 1.

Based in Paris, Taillardat oversees five portfolio managers dedicated to smart beta and factor investing. He reports to Laurent Trottier, global head of exchange-traded funds, indexing and smart beta management at Amundi. The overall head of the business unit is Fannie Wurtz, managing director overseeing 60 people including sales, portfolio managers and product development.

Taillardat started his career at BNP Paribas Asset Management where he was head of quantitative research in the international equity investments team from 1998 to 2007.

He joined Geneva-based Unigestion in March 2007 as a senior portfolio manager in the equity team. His most recent role was investment director, responsible for the quantitative and fundamental research before joining Amundi.

Lyxor AM appoints new Japan CEO

Lyxor Asset Management, a subsidiary of France's Societe Generale Group, has appointed Laurent Renaud as chief executive in Japan, succeeding Toshiro Kubozono who has retired after nine years in the role.

His appointment became effective on September 1, although he joined the company in May to conduct an extended transition into the CEO role.

Based in Tokyo, Renaud reports to Lionel Paquin, Paris-based CEO of Lyxor Asset Management, and locally to Raphael Cheminat, group country head for Japan at Societe Generale.

Renaud was most recently chief operating officer at BNP Paribas Investment Partners (BNPP IP) Japan. He left the firm in July last year after 15 years with the BNP Paribas Group. BNPP IP declined to comment on Renaud’s replacement.

Vanguard Australia hires compliance head from NAB

Vanguard Australia will appoint Ashley Warmbrand as head of legal and compliance, effective in October. 

Based in Melbourne, Warmbrand will report to Vanguard Australia managing director Colin Kelton, who is also based in Melbourne. Warmbrand will replace Cynthia Lui, who moved to London earlier this year to lead the legal and compliance team across Vanguard’s international division. Kelton has been managing the team in the interim.

Warmbrand was most recently head of risk and audit governance at National Australia Bank, which he joined in 2008 as senior corporate lawyer. NAB did not respond to a query about Warmbrand's replacement by press time.

Bank J Safra Sarasin hires for ultra HNWI clients

Bank J Safra Sarasin, the Swiss private bank, has hired Harpreet Singh as executive director and client relationship manager for its non-resident Indians (NRI) team in Singapore. The team serves Indian expatriates.

Joining in August, Singh works with ultra-high-net-worth clients and reports to Hena Hoda, managing director for client advisory for Southeast Asia, which includes Singapore, Philippines, Thailand and the NRI teams. Singh is an additional hire rather than a replacement, the bank said.

He most recently worked at Bank of Singapore (BoS) where he was a team leader. BoS did not respond to queries about Sigh’s replacement and his exact job title while with the bank. In addition to BoS, Singh had also worked for BNP Paribas Wealth Management and Citibank.

White & Case poaches ten partners from Herbert Smith Freehills

US law firm White & Case has poached 10 partners from UK law firm Herbert Smith Freehills. Most of them will join White & Case's new operation in Australia. The law firm confirmed it was opening offices in Sydney and Melbourne to strengthen its global project finance practice. It declined to say when exactly the offices would open.

The partners who are joining in Asia Pacific are: Brendan Quinn, Andrew Clark, Alan Rosengarten, Josh Sgro, Tim Power, Jared Muller and Joanne Draper, who will join the firm in Melbourne; Joel Rennie in Sydney; Fergus Smith in Hong Kong; and Matthew Osborne in Singapore. 

Partner Art Scavone, who leads the firm’s global project finance practice, said, “This move will strengthen our position for project finance globally. Our new offices will offer our clients infrastructure, power and natural resources industry expertise in Australia and provide a strong platform for our future growth in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Besides Australia, White & Case has  offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo as well as an associate in Jakarta, for the Asia-Pacific region.

Mark Rigotti and Sonya Leydecker, joint chief executives of Herbert Smith Freehills, confirmed the ten resignations on September 1, saying they were "disappointed at the decision" but would continue to have a strong 100-partner infrastructure and projects practice in Australia, Asia and around the world. 

Fidelity names new Asia-Pacific corporate communication head

Fidelity International has hired Mariko Sanchanta as its head of corporate communications for the Asia-Pacific region, effective September 5. Fidelity said it's a newly-created role, but didn't say whose remit the role fell within before the appointment.

Based in Hong Kong, Sanchanta reports to Peter Yandle, Fidelity's head of corporate affairs based in London, and works closely with Mark Talbot, the firm's managing director for Asia Pacific ex-Japan, who is based in Hong Kong.

Sanchanta was most recently working for PR firm Burson-Marsteller, as the Asia Pacific regional managing director of media. BM didn't respond to query about Sanchanta's replacement by press time.

Sanchanta was a journalist at the Financial Times in New York, London and Tokyo and also an editor and reporter with the Wall Street Journal in Tokyo and Hong Kong.

Other people news reported on AsianInvestor in the past week:

HSBC Private Bank adds senior duo in Singapore

Ex-JP Morgan China head joins VC firm for institutional buildout