Weekly roundup of people news, Feb 24
BLACKROCK FORMER CHINA JV HEAD LEAVES
Ji Bing, a BlackRock managing director and former head of its China joint venture, CMB Wealth Management, has left the firm after over 14 years, people with direct knowledge of the matter told AsianInvestor.
Ji was replaced by Fan Hua as the China JV head in December 2022.
The firm announced in October last year that Fan would become the general manager of Blackrock CCB Wealth Management while Ji returned to Hong Kong from Shanghai.
Ji returned to Hong Kong in December and was most recently a managing director in charge of client management, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Ji was the first general manager of BlackRock’s China JV since October 2020.
Before that, he was managing director of BlackRock in Hong Kong for over 12 years, responsible for institutional business development and client services in China.
BlackRock declined to comment.
AsianInvestor understands that Ji’s departure is unrelated to BlackRock’s global job cuts reported previously.
In a staff memo seen by the media in mid-January, BlackRock said it planned to dismiss 500 employees globally, which was about 2.5% of the total workforce.
Temasek-owned Fullerton Fund Management has hired Eddie Chen as managing director, alternatives, responsible for sourcing potential opportunities to further build Fullerton's private equity business, the firm confirmed to AsianInvestor.
Chen was formerly head of Asia at European investment firm Eurazeo.
Chen relocated from Shanghai to Singapore to take on the newly created role in October 2022. He reports to Tan Huck Khim, head of alternatives.
He will strategise on new product ideas, lead product-releated project teams including Fullerton Asia carbon action strategy, as well as facilitate relationship building, regulatory positioning and business development in China.
He previously spent over nine years at Eurazeo and was most recently senior partner and head of Asia until June. He remains a senior advisor for the firm.
AMUNDI NAMES INSTITUTIONAL SALES HEAD FOR SOUTH ASIA
Amundi has appointed Lawrence Wee as head of institutional sales for South Asia, effective immediately.
Wee is based in Singapore and will be responsible for Amundi’s regional institutional business development.
He was previously regional head of business development and marketing at Asset Management One. He also worked with Manulife Investment Management, and First Sentier Investors.
Amundi declined to respond to AsianInvestor queries on whether Wee is a replacement for someone else and to whom he reports.
Asset Management One did not respond to AsianInvestor queries on when Wee left and whether a successor has been named.
QIC HIRES PRIVATE DEBT CHIEF FROM ARES
Australian asset manager QIC (Queensland Investment Corporation) has appointed Simon La Greca as global head of private debt.
La Greca joins QIC from Ares Management where he was partner and head of infrastructure debt Asia. In this position, he was responsible for investing in mezzanine infrastructure debt assets, attracting investors to infrastructure debt funds, and leading the build out of the investment team in Asia.
An Ares spokesperson declined to answer AsianInvestor's inquiries about La Greca's role at the firm, when he left and whether a successor was named.
Before Ares, La Greca was a founding member of the AMP Capital infrastructure debt team and partner, head of infrastructure debt Asia, from May 2003 to February 2022.
La Greca's appointment follows QIC's former head of private debt Andrew Jones' decision to transition to a new role as deputy chair of QIC's private debt investment committees and strategic advisor.
Jones has a 30-year career leading private debt capabilities and led the build-out of QIC's private debt strategy and team for nearly two years before La Greca's appointment.
HINES OPENS OFFICE IN NEW ZEALAND
Global real estate investment, development and property manager Hines has opened an office in New Zealand as part of its Asia Pacific expansion.
The new office marks the firm’s 11th office location and seventh country since the company established its presence in Asia Pacific in 1996.
James Molloy, who joined the firm in February, will manage the New Zealand office and source new acquisitions, investment and development opportunities in the country.
Based in Auckland, James reports to the head of Australia and New Zealand, David Warneford, based in Sydney.
Molloy was most previously with New Zealand real estate fund management business Oyster Property Group where he was the general manager – investment and a member of the executive team.
Oyster announced on February 22 that Steven Harris has taken over as general manager – investment.
Harris was recruited internally as was previously general manager – property, a role that is taken over by Fabio Pagano who joins Oyster from Investore Property.
Investore Property is managed by New Zealand-listed Stride Property Group.
BNP PARIBAS NAMES HEAD OF ASSET OWNERS FOR AUSTRALIA, NZ
BNP Paribas’s securities services business has appointed Philippe Kerdoncuff as head of asset owners and asset managers client lines, Australia and New Zealand with immediate effect.
In this newly created role to support growth plans for the two markets, Kerdoncuff will be responsible for the development and management of products and solutions to local asset owner and asset manager needs.
Kerdoncuff is based in Sydney and reports to Daniel Cheever, head of Australia and New Zealand and Philippe Tassin, Asia Pacific regional head of asset owners and asset managers client lines, securities services.
Kerdoncuff joined BNP Paribas in 2001 and was location head of China between September 2016 and October 2022 based in Shanghai.
In April 2022, BNP Paribas appointed Stanley Song as co-head of BNP Paribas securities services in China, alongside Kerdoncuff as part of a wider effort to expand and develop its presence in Asia.
Kerdoncuff left the role on September 30 2022 and worked in Paris between October and December 2022, while preparing to transition to the Australian office as head of asset owners and asset managers client lines, Australia and New Zealand, a spokesperson told AsianInvestor.
Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) extended its global transaction advisory group’s offering with the appointment of Shanghai-based Stella Yuan as managing director and practice co-leader of transaction advisory group in Asia.
The newly created role underscores A&M’s desire to help private equity firms and corporations.
Yuan, as the global transaction advisory group Asia practice co-leader, will work alongside Hong Kong-based managing director Xuong Liu.
She will advise clients on due diligence and transaction advisory matters.
She reports to Paul Aversano, managing director and global practice leader of the global transaction advisory group. She will be supported by seven additional managing directors and 32 practitioner hires, who are also based in China.
Yuan came on board at the beginning of 2023, while the rest of the team joined from April 2022 onwards, the firm told AsianInvestor.
Yuan has over 20 years of experience and was involved in some of the largest buyout and privatisation transactions in Greater China.
Prior to joining A&M, Yuan served as Greater China private equity leader and Greater China transaction diligence leader with EY.