Weekly roundup of people news, July 16

AustralianSuper's CEO to step down; Franklin Templeton appoints ex-Calpers CIO as Asia chair; Zurich Malaysia names country head; Credit Suisse promotes new China CEO; DWS lures Amundi veteran back to Asia; Indosuez appoints head of North Asia; Citi Private Bank names SE Asia private capital head; Gaw Capital hires IDC investments head; and more.
Weekly roundup of people news, July 16


Ian Silk

Ian Silk, the chief executive at Australia’s biggest superannuation fund, will step down when his term ends later this year, the fund said in a statement on Tuesday (July 13).

During 15-year tenure, Silk presided over a rise in assets under management from A$21 billion ($15.65 billion) to A$225 billion, while the fund's employees rose from 50 to 1,000. He is also chairman of the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors.

Chief risk officer Paul Schroder will take up the role when Silk vacates the position later this year (a more specific date was not given). Schroder has been with the fund for more than a decade, holding several senior executive roles including group executive for strategy, brand and reputation, and group executive for membership.

AustralianSuper declined to comment on Silk's next moves but confirmed he will not be retiring. A search for a new chief risk officer is underway. 


Ben Meng

Franklin Templeton has hired Ben Meng, former chief investment officer of the $469 billion California Public Employees Retirement System (Calpers), as executive vice president and chairman of Asia Pacific, effective on Thursday (July 15).

In his newly created role, Meng is set to expand the firm’s investment offerings in Asia Pacific, with a focus on private equity, venture capital and other alternative asset capabilities.

He reports to Franklin Templeton president and CEO Jenny Johnson and serve on the firm’s executive committee. He will be based in California, where the corporate headquarters are located, and will travel regularly within the Asia Pacific region, the firm told AsianInvestor.

Meng previously served for multiple roles at Calpers for seven years before becoming CIO in early 2019. He resigned and left on August 5, 2020. The US pension fund is yet to find a new CIO and Dan Bienvenue, deputy chief investment officer, is serving as interim CIO.

He also served as deputy chief investment officer for China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) for over three years, which manages over $3 trillion, including investments in real estate, infrastructure, private equity and private credit. 


Junior Cho

Zurich Malaysia appointed Junior Cho as its new country head, effective July 14.

He replaces Stephen Clark, who retired as chief executive officer of Zurich Life Insurance Malaysia and country head in December 2020. He remains an executive director, according to his profile. Khoo Ai Lin replaced him as CEO of Zurich Life Insurance Malaysia in January.

Cho joined Zurich in 2016 as head of market management across general insurance and general takaful (Islamic insurance). He was appointed CEO of Zurich General Insurance Malaysia in 2019, a role he will continue to hold concurrently.

Zurich operates life insurance, general insurance, family takaful and general takaful in Malaysia.


Janice Hu

Credit Suisse has appointed Janice Hu as new chief executive officer of China, effective July 9.

Hu has over 25 years of experience in the financial markets in the country, while she has worked at Credit Suisse for two decades. During this time she has held various senior roles across the firm's China franchise, including vice chairwoman of Credit Suisse China and head of China investment banking.

Hu is based in Beijing and reports to Carsten Stoehr, CEO of Greater China at the bank.

Her appointment follows the departure of Zhenyi Tang, who is leaving Credit Suisse to pursue other opportunities outside the financial services sector. The firm declined to comment on Tang's last day.


Vanessa Wang

Vanessa Wang has joined German asset manager DWS Group from Amundi to be its Asia Pacific head of client coverage. She will relocate from Boston to Hong Kong to take the role, which becomes effective on September 1.

In her new role Wang will lead all coverage teams and provide investment solutions to institutional and wholesale clients and partners. She will report to Frankfurt-based Dirk Goergen, head of DWS’s client coverage division and member of the executive board.

Wang's responsibilities used to be held by Asia Pacific regional head Holger Naumann, who also led the client coverage division for the region. "He will continue in his role as regional head for the Apac region and take an active role with our clients and strategic partners," a spokesperson told AsianInvestor.

Wang has over 20 years of experience. She joined Amundi in 2016 as managing director and head of institutional business for North Asia based in Hong Kong, before moving to the US to take up her current role last year.

Before that, Wang was a Beijing-based managing director and head of pensions for Asia Pacific at Citigroup, and prior to that was partner for retirement and Asia head of retirement risk and finance consulting at Mercer. She was employed there for 15 years, first in New York, then in Beijing.

Amundi declined to comment on whether a replacement has been found or if a search is underway.


Alred Low

Indosuez Wealth Management, the wealth management arm of French banking group Crédit Agricole, appointed Alfred Low as its head of North Asia market and strategic partnerships in its Singapore branch. His appointment is effective from September 1, 2021.

He reports to Omar Shokur, CEO, Asia and Singapore branch manager.

A spokesperson said the head of strategic partnerships role is newly created but declined to comment on who Low was replacing as head of North Asia, which she confirmed is not a new role.

Low is currently managing director and market head for Greater China at HSBC Private Banking, which he joined in October 2017.

HSBC did not respond to requests for comment.


Jonathan Gan

Citi Private Bank announced the appointment of Jonathan Gan as head of Southeast Asia for its private capital group. A spokesperson for Citi said he started at the beginning of July but could not give a precise date.

The same spokesperson said the role is newly created but declined to elaborate on who oversaw Southeast Asia prior to Gan's appointment.

Based in in Singapore, Gan reports to Bernie Wai, Asia Pacific head of Citi’s private capital group and Lee Lung-Nien, chairman and South Asia head of Citi Private Bank

Gan joins from HSBC where he spent nine years, most recently as managing director within its investment banking division.

HSBC did not respond to requests for comment.


Kok-Chye Ong

Hong Kong private equity firm Gaw Capital Partners appointed Kok-Chye Ong as managing director and head of internet data centre (IDC) platform investments (ex-China), effective from Tuesday (July 13).

Based in Singapore, Ong reports to Kenneth Gaw, president and managing director.

A spokesperson for Gaw Capital said this is a new role in line with the close of a $1.3 billion IDC platform in 2020.

Ong was most recently as head of strategy and global investments at Keppel Data Centres, part of Singaporean conglomerate Keppel Corporation.

Keppel declined to comment.


Koh Bee Eng

JP Morgan Private Bank appointed Koh Bee Eng as head of JP Morgan Trust Company, effective on Monday (July 12).

Based in Singapore, she reports to Martin Pollock, head of international trusts and estates. A spokesperson said she replaces Ethan Chue but declined to comment further. According to his LinkedIn profile, Chue left in December 2020 and is now a family business adviser. 

Koh was most recently trust centre resident manager and director at Credit Suisse. She previously held roles at Standard Chartered Trust Singapore and Rothschild Trust Singapore.

Credit Suisse declined to comment.


Shirley Law

Credit Suisse appointed Shirley Law as market leader Singapore, effective July 15.

The role is newly created, according to the press release. A spokesperson said Law joins other market leaders as Credit Suisse expands its teams to accelerate growth in the Singapore domestic market.

She reports to Dominique Boer, market group head for Singapore.

Law joined Credit Suisse in 2013 and was most recently a team leader for Singapore. Prior to this she was a senior banker at UBS for eight years.

Credit Suisse also announced the appointment of three team leaders who will report to Law.


Carinn Neo

Boutique asset management firm Paragon Capital Management Singapore appointed former Credit Suisse Private Bank executive Carinn Neo as its new managing director and lead portfolio manager. The appointment became effective on Monday (July 12).

Neo reports to Paul Lee, CEO and CIO of Paragon Capital. A spokesperson for Paragon said she joins in a newly created role lead the management of their new Paragon Income Fund.

Before joining, Neo worked at Credit Suisse Private Bank for 12 years, most recently as co-head, fixed income solutions for Asia Pacific. She has also head roles within Bear Stearns’ fixed income team, DBS Asset Management and OUB Asset Management.

Credit Suisse declined to comment.


Nader Naeimi

GIC hired Nader Naeimi as senior vice president and portfolio manager for a new cross asset global allocation fund, effective on Monday (July 12).

Naeimi was most recently portfolio manager at Australian asset management firm AMP Capital, which he left in May 2021 after 21 years. He relocated to Singapore for the GIC role and had been on gardening leave since May, according to his LinkedIn.

As a result of the closure of the dynamic markets fund, Nader’s role was made redundant and will he will not be replaced, a spokesperson for AMP Capital said. Brad Creighton, senior investment strategist, will continue to manage the dynamic asset allocation process for AMP Capital.  


Schroders on Thursday (July 15) announced the appointment of Mervyn Tang as head of sustainability strategy for Asia Pacific, confirming a report by AsianInvestor earlier this week.

Mervyn Tang

The appointment is effective July 27, according to the announcement. He will initially be based in Hong Kong before relocating to Singapore at the end of the year. Tang will report to Singapore-based Roy Diao, head of Asian fixed income, and Lily Choh, country head of Singapore, with a functional reporting line to London-based head of sustainability strategy Hannah Simons.

Tang is currently global head of ESG research and sustainable finance at Fitch Ratings.

Schroders also announced the appointment of Wong Dan Chi as head of ESG integration for Asia Pacific, effective June 1, 2021. Wong will report to London-based Stephanie Chang, head of ESG integration.

Tang and Wong are part of the new four-person Asian ESG specialists Schroders announced it would hire by year-end. The team also comprises of a sustainable equity analyst, Adrian Low, who joined on July 1, 2021. Schroders will add the last of the four Asia Pacific sustainability specialists by the end of the year.

Valerie Speth


BlackRock Real Assets has appointed Valerie Speth as a managing director for the Asia Pacific Renewable Power team to expand investment capabilities in Southeast Asia, the firm announced on July 12.


She has started her new role on July 5, the firm told AsianInvestor. In this newly-created post, she reports to Keith Mangan, BlackRock’s head of Asia Pacific for the renewable power team.

Based in Singapore, Speth will lead investment and portfolio management efforts in Southeast Asian economies for BlackRock’s current flagship Global Renewable Power strategy and the Climate Finance Partnership (CFP) program in Asia.

Speth has more than 15 years’ experience in renewable energy businesses in Europe and Asia Pacific, in the areas of strategy, mergers and acquisitions and operations. Before joining BlackRock, she was regional managing director of Asia Pacific for global turnkey renewable power projects company juwi. The firm did not respond to comment on Speth’s replacement.

Miyuki Kashima


Fidelity International on July 15 announced the appointment of Miyuki Kashima as head of investments for Japan to be based in Tokyo. She will report to Paras Anand, chief investment officer for Asia Pacific.


Kashima will replace former Japan head of equities Takashi Maruyama and starts on July 26, the firm told AsianInvestor. In an expanded role, Kashima will lead and broaden the Japan-based investment team’s capability in all asset classes.

Former Japan head of equities Maruyama will take on a new role as senior adviser to support the overall business development of Fidelity’s Japan business. He is based in Tokyo as well and will report to Derek Young, president of Japan. After a handover to Kashima, Maruyama will begin to focus on his new role, the firm told AsianInvestor.

Takashi Maruyama

As the new Japan investments head, Kashima has over 30 years of experience in leading investment teams and managing equity portfolios at several top international investment houses including BNY Mellon, ING and Merrill Lynch Asset Management (now BlackRock).

Kashima’s most recent role was head of Japanese equity investment at BNY Mellon, Japan. Masafumi Oshiden, who has worked with Kashima for several years as her deputy and as the lead portfolio manager on a number of Japan equity strategies, assumed the role of head of Japan equity investment management division, effective April 1, 2021, BNY Mellon told AsianInvestor.

Masafumi Oshiden


Oshiden is an experienced portfolio manager and leader with a 30-year career in the investment management industry. He joined BNY Mellon Investment Management in 2013, the firm said.

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