Weekly roundup of people news, March 3
HKEX TO OPEN LONDON OFFICE, REPLACES BOARD MEMBERS
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) has confirmed it will open an office in London in the first half of 2023, complementing its existing international reach with offices in Beijing, New York, Shanghai and Singapore.
This follows the launch of the New York office in December 2022.
The London office will be overseen by head of EMEA business development, Raymond Wong, who will report to Kevin Rideout, HKEX co-head of sales and marketing. Wong will continue to be head of EMEA business development besides overseeing the London office, and continue to be based in London, HKEX told AsianInvestor.
Wong joined HKEX in Hong Kong in 2016 and relocated to London in 2019 as project lead for initiating the establishment of the London office.
HKEX subsidiaries, The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Futures Exchange, were recognised earlier this week as overseas investment exchanges by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority. Preparatory work to open the London office is ongoing.
In seperate news, HKEX also welcomed on February 24 two new board members - former regulators Carlson Tong and Joseph Yam - as appointed by the Hong Kong government.
Tong and Yam, together with reappointed Nisa Leung – will serve as HKEX’s members of board of directors under a two-year term beginning after the conclusion of HKEX’s annual general meeting in April 2023.
Rafael Gil-Tienda and Stephen Yiu will retire from the board after the conclusion of the annual general meeting on April 26.
Tong was the former chairman of HKEX and Securities and Futures Commission and now serves as non-official member of the board of the newly established Hong Kong Investment Corporation and independent non-executive of the MTR Corporation.
Yam was the former chief executive of Hong Kong Monetary Authority from 1993 to 2009.
He now serves advisory or independent non-executive director roles at several financial institutions, including Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and UnionPay International.
PARTNERS GROUP LAYS OFF SOME STAFF FROM ASIA PE TEAM
Private markets investment manager Partners Group is cutting about 10 people from its private equity team in Asia Pacific, AsianInvestor understands.
The PE team had about 50 members before the layoff. Most of the impacted staff are based in Singapore.
Some staff could be absorbed in other businesses, AsianInvestor understands.
The alternatives investment manager also operates in the private debt, real estate and infrastructure assets spaces. Partners Group has about 630 people in the Asia Pacific; about half of them are in Singapore.
The firm has about $135 billion in assets under management globally.
Bloomberg first reported on this story.
AUSTRALIAN RETIREMENT TRUST OVERHAULS EXECUTIVE TEAM
Australian Retirement Trust (ART) announced changes to its executive structure on March 2. Two executives are set to depart from the fund. The fund also create a new role of chief of retirement.
Teifi Whatley, chief strategy officer, will retire at the end of March after more than 20 years at ART and previously Sunsuper in roles spanning brand, marketing, technology and strategy.
Whatley will be replaced by Stevhan Davidson, currently chief of transformation.
Davidson was executive integration lead for the merger between QSuper and Sunsuper.
Karin Muller, chief member officer, has decided to pursue opportunities outside of the fund and will stay on with ART until the end of March. She joined QSuper in 2015. The search for her replacement is underway as well.
The chief of retirement is expected to focus on execution of the fund's retirement strategy. The search for a suitable candidate to fill this role is ongoing.
Additionally, chief growth officer Dave Woodall has been named ART’s chief commercial officer.
The new structure is effective from March 1.
HESTA INVESTMENT COMMITTEE CHAIR TO STEP DOWN
HESTA investment committee chair and independent director Mark Burgess will step down from the board at the end of his term in June after six years in the role.
HESTA chief executive Debby Blakey said that Burgess was part of a period of significant growth at the super fund, including the building of an internal team initially to manage Australian equities and later, fixed interest and cash.
HESTA began the search for his successor last year and is in the process of finalising the appointment, which is due to start from July 1.
The appointee will be on the HESTA Board as an independent director and to chair the investment committee.
EX-ALLIANZ REAL ESTATE APAC HEAD JOINS JOINT VENTURE
Rushabh Desai, former Asia Pacific CEO of Allianz Real Estate, has joined forces with Stephen Gaitanos and Craig Carracher, the co-founders of rental housing developer Scape Australia, to launch Varsity Group Asia Pacific, a fund management business targeting high-growth alternative real estate sectors in Asia Pacific.
According to Desai’s LinkedIn profile, his role as CEO of Varsity Group started in December 2022. He left Allianz Real Estate in June 2022.
Kim Hyun-soo, or Scott Kim, was appointed head of Asia at Allianz Real Estate from July 1.
United Overseas Insurance (UOI) said Andrew Lim Chee Hua will become chief executive officer on April 1. He is currently general manager and there will be no replacement for his role for now, a spokesperson told AsianInvestor.
Lim has been with UOI for about four years, the spokesperson added.
He replaces David Chan Mun Wai, who retires as managing director and CEO on March 31.
Chan will remain on the board as director and will be re-designated as non-executive and non-independent director from April 1.
Wee Cho Yaw and Hwang Soo Jin, who co-founded UOI in the early 1970s, will also retire as directors after UOI's annual general meeting on April 14.
Wee Ee Cheong, a director, will replace Wee Cho Yaw as non-executive and non-independent chairman of UOI. Wee Ee Cheong is deputy chairman and group CEO of United Overseas Bank, the parent of UOI.
Winston Ngan Wan Sing and Leong Yung Chee will also join the board as directors on March 1.
BNY MELLON INTEGRATES JAPAN EQUITY TEAM INTO NEWTON
Newton Investment Management (Newton IM) has completed the integration of BNY Mellon Investment Management’s (BNY Mellon IM) Japan equity team into Newton, a BNY Mellon subsidiary, effective March 1.
Kazuya Kurosawa, head of the Japan equity team, will continue to lead the Japan equity strategies as director and head of investment in the newly established Newton Japan, which consists of 10 staff members, including five investment professionals managing three strategies: Japan Small Cap Equity, Japan All Cap Equity and Womenomics Japan Equity.
Kurosawa reports to Paul Markham, head of global opportunities strategy in Newton, a spokesperson told AsianInvestor.
He used to report to Katsutoshi Endo, representative director and president of BNY Mellon IM Japan.
ALLIANZ GI HIRES EQUITY PORTFOLIO MANAGER
Zhang Yu has joined Allianz Global Investors as a senior portfolio manager in the Asian equity team, effective March 1.
Based in Hong Kong, Zhang will report to Raymond Chan, chief investment officer for equity in Asia Pacific at Allianz GI.
Zhang joins from Matthews Asia, where he managed several Asian equity portfolios. Matthews Asia did not respond to AsianInvestor’s inquiries regarding Zhang’s role at the firm and when he left.
DWS APPOINTS NEW TAIWAN CEO
DWS has appointed Eva Huang as chief executive officer of DWS Far Eastern in Taiwan, effective February 21.
Huang reports to Vanessa Wang, head of client coverage division (CCD), Asia Pacific.
In her new role, Huang will be based in Taipei, Taiwan, a spokesperson told AsianInvestor. She was previously based in Hong Kong.
Huang has been with DWS since 2015 and most recently was head of client coverage, Greater China.
Wang will cover Huang’s previous Greater China responsibilities, the spokesperson said.
Huang will also assume regional leadership in digital initiatives such as tokenization and embedded asset management.
Huang has previously worked with BlueBay in Hong Kong and Taiwan and Allianz Global Investors in Taiwan.
FARRO CAPITAL LAUNCHES IN SINGAPORE
Multi-family office Farro Capital opened its Singapore office on March 2.
The Singapore, MAS-licensed company aims to provide bespoke independent advice and solutions to ultra-high net worth (UHNW) families.
Since its soft launch at the end of 2022, Farro Capital has accumulated more than $1 billion in assets under management, serving clients across more than 12 markets, including billionaires, family offices, and unicorn founders.
The company is headed by five co-founders: Mahesh Kumar (managing partner), Hemant Tucker (CEO), Rajiv Garg (managing director), Manish Tibrewal and Uthpal Rao.
Tucker, Garg and Rao have worked with Bank of Singapore previously, while Tibrewal was most recently with Maitri Asset Management. Kumar has previously worked at law firm Withers Worldwide.
Farro Capital has 13 employees, with plans to expand to over 20 industry professionals by end-2023, a spokesperson told AsianInvestor.
The multi-family office was established in October 2022 and obtained its MAS license in December that year.
VMS GROUP NAMES PRIVATE EQUITY EXECUTIVE
Alternatives asset manager VMS Group named Kevin Gong as managing director, co-head of tech and consumer private equity, with immediate effect, alongside managing director, co-head of tech and consumer, Vanessa Lee, who has been in the role since 2021.
Gong and Lee will jointly lead the management of the tech and consumer investment team and oversee investment management activities.
Gong will focus on semiconductor, intelligent manufacturing, advanced materials and new energy, while Lee’s focus remains across the fields of artificial intelligence, enterprise services, robotics and consumer technology.
Both of them report to the group’s head of private equity Zou Jianming.
Gong joins VMS from CITIC New Future Investment in Beijing, where he was general manager.
Gong will be based in both Hong Kong and Beijing, the firm told AsianInvestor.
AP MOLLER CAPITAL OPENS SINGAPORE OFFICE
Asset management company AP Moller Capital has opened an office in Singapore as it ramps up its investment programme in South and Southeast Asia.
The office will be led by Partner Dhruv Narain. Narain reports to global CEO and managing partner Kim Fejfer.
He joined the firm in August 2022 and has previously led teams at Macquarie, the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, the Abu Dhabi Investment Council (part of the Mubadala Group) and GCM Grosvenor.
Additionally, former Carlye Group Singapore executive and non-executive director David Tung is company director and senior advisor.
Both Narian and Tung are based in Singapore.
The Singapore office has eight representatives, including two advisors. Singapore is the asset manager’s first office in Asia; it has offices in Copenhagen and Dubai.
The fund management company has plans to commit more than $750 million in capital to infrastructure platforms in the region.
AP Moller Capital is part of Denmark’s AP Moller Group and manages over $1.5 billion globally.
BROADRIDGE HIRES APAC HEAD OF ASSET MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS
Broadridge Financial Solutions announced the appointment of Wout Kalis as head of Asia Pacific for asset management solutions.
Based in Singapore, Kalis will be responsible for advancing the firm’s strategic asset management priorities in Asia.
Kalis was previously regional head of alternative investment services for BNY Mellon. He also previously served in leadership positions at SS&C, Citibank, HSBC, and Citco.
BNY Mellon declined to comment on Kalis’ replacement.