Weekly roundup of people news, May 30

Max Wong of Franklin Templeton to join Oaktree; Future Fund taps ESG risk head; Natixis adds in sales; Barclays fills equity gaps in Korea, India; and Deutsche names Vietnam chief.
Weekly roundup of people news, May 30

Max Wong joins Oaktree
US fund house Franklin Templeton has lost its head of institutional business for Greater China, Max Wong, to alternatives manager Oaktree Capital Management.

Wong's last day at Franklin Templeton is May 30. He is to join Oaktree, a global manager headquartered in Los Angeles, in the middle of June based in Hong Kong in an as yet undisclosed role.

Oaktree, which had $86 billion in assets under management as of March 31, specialises in corporate and distressed debt, convertible securities, control investing and real estate.

A Franklin Templeton spokesman confirmed Wong’s departure, and said the firm would add additional resources to its institutional sales team. He did not indicate whether a direct replacement would be sought.

Prior to joining Franklin Templeton in 2009, Wong worked at AllianceBernstein as an international client relationship manager for North Asia. He began his career at PCCW, the Hong Kong telecoms group.

Future Fund names head of ESG risk management
Australia’s A$97 billion Future Fund has named Joel Posters as its new head of environmental, social and governance risk management.

Posters will relocate from the Netherlands to Melbourne and is expected to start at the sovereign wealth fund in August.

Reporting directly to the fund’s chief investment officer, he will be responsible for overseeing the governance of investee companies.

He was until recently global head of sustainability at Dutch financing group De Lage Landen, part of Rabobank Group. He has held similar roles at ABN AMRO Bank, PricewaterhouseCoopers and AT Kearney.

Future Fund’s previous ESG head was Gordon Hagart. He left towards the end of last year to become CEO of the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors.

Natixis hires sales trio
French fund house Natixis Global Asset Management has announced three new hires in Singapore focusing on its regional wholesale business.

Brenda Leow joined this month as associate director for wholesale/retail sales. She is responsible for managing private bank and retail bank accounts. Leow joined from Fullerton Fund Management, where she worked for seven years as a vice-president in its business development team.

Shae Kuek joined in January as a senior manager for wholesale/retail sales. He is responsible for business development and the accounts of retail banks, independent financial advisers and insurers. Most recently he worked at Fidelity Worldwide Investment, where he was a sales manager covering the wholesale distribution businesses in Singapore and Thailand for close to five years.

Jean Tan joined last month as regional head of marketing for Singapore and Hong Kong. He also joined from Fidelity Worldwide Investment, where she was head of marketing.

Natixis says the three roles are all newly created. “In the early stages of our business in Asia, our focus was on the institutional clients and global private banks,” said Madeline Ho, Natixis’s head of wholesale fund distribution for Asia Pacific. “We continue to be extremely focused on the institutional segment in Singapore and Southeast Asia.”

The group has 16 retail funds registered in Singapore. It intends to add more, particularly products that are popular in other markets but less well known in Asia.

Natixis has five products registered for distribution in Hong Kong. It expects to add five to 10 funds there over the next 12 months.

While the funds distributed in Asia are domiciled offshore in either Luxembourg or Dublin, Ho would not rule out setting up locally domiciled products to take advantage of the mutual fund passport schemes in the pipeline for both Hong Kong-China and Asean.

At press time, Fullerton Fund Management and Fidelity had not responded to media enquiries on whether replacements had been found or were being sought.

Barclays fills equity gaps in Korea, India
UK investment bank Barclays continues to restructure its equities business in Asia. Neel Shahani has been promoted to run equity sales in India, and Myung Seop Kho has been promoted to run the bank’s trading business in Korea.

Kho joined Barclays in 2011 as head of domestic equities distribution in Korea and will now take over the role previously held by John Chang, whom the bank promoted this month to head of equities distribution for Asia Pacific.

Shahani, who was previously head of equities sales trading, replaces Bhavtosh Vajpayee, who has taken over as head of equity research for Asia ex-Japan.

He has 22 years' experience in equities markets and joined Barclays in 2011 from India Infoline Finance, where he was head of sales trading. He previously worked at CLSA, HSBC and JM Financial.

Kho has 23 years' experience in equities sales and joined Barclays from Deutsche Bank, where he was head of domestic equity sales. Previously he worked at Société Générale, HSBC and Ssangyong Investment.

They both report to Chang and Vikesh Kotecha, the bank's regional head of equities trading.

The changes are part of another strategic review at Barclays. This time the bank is aiming to cut 7,000 jobs in the next three years — more than a quarter of its headcount — and to shift its energy to client-focused origination and trading businesses that are not as capital intensive, such as cash equities.

Barclays has lost several key executives over the past few weeks. Robert Morrice, chairman and chief executive of Barclays in Asia Pacific, announced his retirement this month after 17 years at the bank, 12 of which he spent as regional CEO.

Morrice will leave the bank at the end of next month and will be replaced by Andrew Jones and Eiji Nakai, who will become co-CEOs on July 1, subject to regulatory approval.

Skip McGee left his position as head of Barclays Americas last month, and Ros Stephenson quit as global chairman of investment banking to join UBS.

Deutsche Bank names Vietnam country chief
Deutsche Bank has promoted Jens Ruebbert to chief country officer and head of global transaction banking for Vietnam with immediate effect. He replaces former country head Tri Pham, who has left.

Ruebbert reports to Lisa Robins, head of global transaction banking for Asia Pacific. The transaction banking business encompasses trust and securities services, as well as cash management and trade finance.

As country head Ruebbert reports to Gunit Chadha and Alan Cloete, co-chief executive officers for Asia Pacific.

Ruebbert was previously managing director and chief operating officer for Deutsche Bank China.

Deutsche Bank has a full-service branch in Ho Chi Minh City and a representative office in Hanoi and employs over 70 staff in the country.

Other people news reported on AsianInvestor in the past week

FWD loses investment head to Eastspring

Ashmore moves to open Dubai office: sources

AsianInvestor will be closed on June 2 for a public holiday to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival in Hong Kong. We will resume activities on Tuesday, June 3.

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