Weekly roundup of people news, June 24

Future Fund CIO Sue Brake steps down; Prudential expands group executive committee; Eastspring's head of portfolio advisors Kelvin Blacklock leaves after 20 years; MLC Life chief executive to retire, to be succeeded by Kent Griffin; JLL hires from single family office; Value Partners taps managing director from Blackrock; Franklin Templeton gets Apac investment strategist; and more.
Weekly roundup of people news, June 24


Chief investment officer (CIO) Sue Brake has announced her departure from the Future Fund due to family reasons.  

Sue Brake

Brake has been the CIO of the Australian sovereign wealth fund since December 2020. She was appointed as its acting chief investment officer in July 2020, and first joined the Future Fund as deputy chief investment officer for portfolio strategy in June 2019.

Brake played a key role in the review of the Future Fund’s investment strategy and was also a member of the organisation’s senior leadership team.

According to the official announcement, the Future Fund will use Brake’s departure as an opportunity to restructure its investment team to better meet the challenges of the evolving macro environment.

The new structure will bring focus to optimising governance, people and technology with three deputy CIO roles reporting directly to the chief investment officer: Wendy Norris will become deputy CIO, change & innovation; Ben Samild will take on the role of deputy CIO, portfolio construction; and Alicia Gregory will join the senior leadership team as Deputy CIO, Private Markets.

In the meantime, Raphael Arndt will act as chief investment officer until the CIO position is filled while maintaining his role as the Future Fund’s chief executive officer.


Seck Wai-Kwong

Prudential on Thursday (June 23) announced an expansion of its group leadership structure in a bid to enhance engagement and create an inclusive leadership approach, by adding four senior executives to the group executive committee, which will become a unit of eight members.

Dennis Tan

From July 1 onwards, Seck Wai-Kwong, chief executive officer of Eastspring; Dennis Tan, CEO of Prudential Singapore; Lilian Ng, CEO for insurance of Prudential; and Solmaz Altin, group chief strategy and transformation officer, have all been promoted to the group executive committee.  

Lilian Ng

They will join current members, Mark FitzPatrick, interim group CEO; James Turner, group chief financial officer; Avnish Kalra, group chief risk and compliance officer; and Jolene Chen, group human resources director.

Prudential Singapore CEO Tan, CEO for insurance of Prudential Ng and group chief strategy and transformation officer Altin will each lead one of the strategic business groups, which consist of selected markets.

Solmaz Altin

Tan covers Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam; Ng covers mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan; Altin covers other Southeast Asia markets, India, and Africa.

They will be accountable for the business and operational results of their respective markets and also for the group-wide delivery of enabling functions.

Eastspring CEO Seck will remain responsible for the growth of Eastspring’s business and the delivery of its investment performance.


Kelvin Blacklock

Eastspring Investments’ head of portfolio advisors Kelvin Blacklock will leave the firm after over 20 years, the firm has confirmed with AsianInvestor. Blacklock’s departure follows the firm’s appointment of the new chief investment officer Bill Maldonado this month after the position being left vacant for almost three years.

Blacklock is currently on garden leave. He is leaving to pursue other opportunities outside the Prudential Group, a spokesperson said, without disclosing his last day or his next move.

Based in Singapore, Blacklock joined Eastspring in September 2001. He is the head of investment solutions and started to hold an additional role as head of portfolio advisors in 2019. He has overall responsibility for the investment strategy, performance and tactical asset allocation of Eastspring’s global multi asset funds.

To “create greater value for its business and clients”, Eastspring will integrate investment capabilities across equities, fixed income and multi asset into one platform under the leadership of new CIO Bill Maldonado, the spokesperson said.


Rodney Cook

Rodney Cook, the chief executive and managing director of MLC Life, has announced that he will retire at the end of the year.

Kent Griffin

Cook took over the top job in June 2020 and led the insurer for two years through Covid-19, during which time he strengthened the leadership team to ensure a natural successor was in place.

MLC Life has confirmed that he will be succeeded by the Australian insurer’s current chief financial officer Kent Griffin.

Griffin will take over the role in October, and Cook will stay on until the year’s end to assist with the transition.

Griffin joined in 2020 from TAL where he was chief financial officer for seven years. He has also previously held roles with EY and AXA Asia Life.


Bettina Lung

Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) on Monday (June 20) welcomed Bettina Lung as the new director of multi-sector private debt, a newly created role.

This appointment follows the launch of QIC’s Australian multi-sector private debt team and is also the second private debt offering to its suite following the launch of its global infrastructure debt platform in 2021.

Based in Sydney, Lung will report to QIC head of multi-sector private debt Phil Miall.

With over 17 years of banking and investment experience, primarily in corporate leveraged finance, she joins QIC from Aware Super’s credit income team, where she was responsible for origination and execution of corporate and leveraged finance transactions in Australia and New Zealand for a year until June.

Prior to Aware Super, she has also held roles in Investec Bank Plc and HSBC’s global banking team.


Michelle McNally

Aware Super has appointed Michelle McNally as the founding chief executive of its newly established local property platform.

McNally was most recently at ISPT, where she held several senior executive roles including general manager of its $8 billion Australian office portfolio and general manager of investor solutions, market strategy and engagement.

Prior to that, she held senior positions at the Australia Post and Jones Lang LaSalle.

The $155 billion industry fund's new platform is being set up in partnership with Altis Property Partners, an independent Australian real estate investment manager.

The platform will manage Aware Super’s directly owned Australian build-to-rent, industrial and office property portfolio. The superannuation fund already has around $1 billion (A$1.5 billion) high-quality industrial, office and residential assets in its property portfolio. The assets are located across Australia in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Canberra, and industrial investments in Western Sydney.


Khoo Kian-Jin

JLL has hired former family office chief executive Khoo Kian-Jin as head of private wealth, capital markets for Asia Pacific with immediate effect, according to a company statement on Monday.

Based in Singapore in the newly created role, he will report to Apac head of capital strategies Tim Graham and work closely with the regional capital markets team and the global international capital coverage team to lead the company’s capital markets advisory for high net worth and family office clients.

Khoo is expected to identify emerging high-net-worth investors in Asia Pacific, including investors with existing real estate investments and those interested in diversifying their portfolios to include exposure to real estate, according to the statement.
Khoo joins JLL from a single-family office in Singapore, where he was chief executive and chief investment officer for four-and-a-half years. He also has more than 12 years of private banking experience working for UBS Wealth Management.


Ricky Tang

Ricky Tang has joined Value Partners Group from BlackRock in a newly created role as managing director, co-head of client portfolio management on Monday (June 20) as the firm strengthens its relationship with existing key bank and insurance channels.

Tang is responsible for the product strategy of Value Partners’ fixed income and multi-asset capabilities. He also serves as co-head of client portfolio management, alongside co-head Frank Tsui, who focuses on the group’s equities capabilities and is also the group’s head of ESG investments. They will jointly lead the overall management of the client portfolio management function.

Based in Hong Kong, Tang reports to the group’s co-chairman and co-chief investment officer, Louis So, and president June Wong.

Tang has over 15 years of experience in the asset management and financial industry and brings extensive knowledge in asset allocation and multi-asset investing. He was most recently a director, multi-asset investment strategist at BlackRock for a year until June. Before that, he was Schroders for over nine years before leaving as the deputy head of multi-asset product, North Asia. 


Christy Tan

Christy Tan has been appointed investment strategist for Asia Pacific at Franklin Templeton Institute, an in-house research house at global investment management organisation Franklin Templeton.

Based in Singapore, Tan will be responsible for leading in-house macroeconomic, thematic investment research to deliver capital market and long-term investment insights across various asset classes in Asia Pacific. In this newly created role, Tan will report to Stephen Dover, Chief Market Strategist and Head of Franklin Templeton Institute.

Prior to joining Franklin Templeton, Tan served as head of markets strategy and Research at National Australia Bank (NAB), where she focused on research for Australian institutions and pension funds wanting to invest in Asia and for investors looking to invest in Australia. Before that, she served as the Local Fixed Income and Currency Strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, responsible for macroeconomic forecasts and analysis of Asian economies.


Bryce Wan

HSBC Global Private Banking has appointed Bryce Wan as Market Head, North Asia, with effect from August 12. Bryce will be based in Hong Kong, reporting to Siew Meng Tan, Regional Head of HSBC Global Private Banking, Asia Pacific.

Wan will lead the Global Private Banking’s North Asia team to serve Asian clients and their families. He will be responsible for driving growth and performance across North Asia markets, namely Hong Kong and offshore China and Taiwan, globally. Wan replaces Ivan Wong who was the interim market head, North Asia for HSBC Global Private Banking, who left the bank earlier this year, a spokesperson told AsianInvestor.

Wan joins HSBC from UBS where he was most recently market team head of global family and institutional wealth for Hong Kong and China, where he led teams to address the wealth management, capital markets, investment banking, structured lending and risk management needs of family offices and Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) clients, as well as privately held and listed companies in the region. Wan also held various other leadership positions during his time at UBS, including head of global family office Hong Kong and country team head of UHNW for the China market. Prior to UBS, Wan spent 19 years at Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management and was the managing director and head of portfolio management group in Asia.


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