Weekly roundup of people news, Oct 22

Manulife appoints new COO; the head of investment stewardship at VFMC departs; June Wong joins Value Partners as president; State Street appoints head of Singapore and Southeast Asia, and head of Australia; BlackRock COO joins UBS AM as Australia and New Zealand country head; Pictet veteran named as Asia CIO; Nomura AM Malaysia head to step down; and more
Weekly roundup of people news, Oct 22


Candy Au Yeung

Manulife has named Candy Au Yeung as chief operations officer (COO). The firm confirmed the appointment and said an official announcement will be made next week.

Au Yeung was most recently a senior director at Prudential Hong Kong, working under customer service unit. Previously, she also worked for Zurich International Life (HK) and MetLife Hong Kong for customer relations-related roles.

Prudential did not respond to emailed questions on her replacement.

Edgar Chan was previously listed as chief operations officer at Manulife, a role he was appointed to in early 2020. Chan has been with the insurer for a decade and pivoted to the role of inforce management head in May this year, according to his LinkedIn page.


Talieh Williams

Talieh Williams has left her post as head of investment stewardship at the Victorian Funds Management Corporation (VFMC), the Financial Standard reported on Tuesday (October 19).

She had joined the firm in February last year from advisory firm Morrow Sodali where she was special counsel for corporate governance. Before that, she spent 11 years at UniSuper where she was involved with governance and sustainable investments.

According to her LinkedIn profile, she left the VFMC in August this year. She is now working as an independent consultant including as a strategic advisor for Jamieson Coote Bonds.

The VFMC has appointed senior portfolio manager Shali Lingaretnam as acting head of investment stewardship. She joined the firm in May last year and oversees external mandates for Australian equities.


State Street Corporation has appointed Kevin Hardy as head of Singapore and Southeast Asia and Tim Helyar as head of Australia.

Kevin Hardy

Both newly-created roles will report to State Street's Asia-Pacific chief executive Mostapha Tahiri according to a press statement on Wednesday (October 20).

Hardy and Helyar, who will be based in Singapore and Sydney respectively, will be responsible for driving State Street’s Asia Pacific growth plan, stewarding client engagement, developing talent and maintaining strong regulatory relationships.

Tim Helyar

Hardy was most recently at Additiv Asia where he was general manager for Asia Pacific, responsible for all activities in the region including sales, relationship management and product for the Swiss-based technology provider. Prior to that, he worked at a number of global asset managers including BlackRock as the Singapore country head, where he was responsible for the business in Southeast Asia, and head of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and index investments for Asia Pacific.

Helyar brings with him almost two decades of experience at JP Morgan Investor Services to the firm and was most recently head of fund services product development for Asia Pacific at JP Morgan. Helyar has financial services experience across securities services, superannuation and wealth management.

Both Hardy and Helyar will officially join State Street in November.


Alison Telfer

Alison Telfer, who was BlackRock’s chief operations officer, general counsel and head of public policy for Australasia, has been appointed country head for Australia and New Zealand at UBS Asset Management.

The role will be made effective in January. Telfer replaces John Mowat who took on the role on an interim basis. He will return to his responsibilities as head of UBS Asset Management's real estate business.

Telfer has been with BlackRock for eight years and was appointed COO in January 2020. Before that, she spent another eight years with investment management firm Challenger, where she was a legal counsel and director of product development.

She also had a seat on BlackRock’s Asia Pacific Stewardship Committee and several diversity and mentoring initiatives. She was also the executive sponsor for BlackRock Women's Initiative Australasia and at the firm's Philanthropic Committee.


June Wong

Value Partners named June Wong as the group’s president, effective October 18.

Based in Hong Kong, Wong will be responsible for managing the group’s overall business and corporate strategy and operations, reporting directly to co-chairs and co-chief investment officers Cheah Cheng Hye and Louis So. She will also become a member of the group’s Leadership Committee alongside the group’s co-chairs.

Most recently, Wong was Asia ex-Japan CEO for State Street Global Advisors (SSGA). Before that, she served as vice chairman for Asia Pacific at Columbia Threadneedle. Other senior leadership roles she held include senior managing director and head of Asia ex-Japan institutional business at AllianceBernstein and head of business development at HSBC Asset Management.

She currently also serves on the Advisory Committee of the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong.

King Au was Value Partners’ former president, and since his retirement in August 2020, Value Partners has left the president role vacant with the management function taken up by Cheah and So, according to the firm’s spokesperson.

Wong left State Street Global Advisors in early 2021, as reported by AsianInvestor. Since her departure, Kevin Anderson has been taking on the role of head of State Street Global Advisors Asia, in addition to his head of investments for Asia Pacific role. Kheng Siang Ng has become the legal entity head for State Street Global Advisors Singapore, in addition to his role as head of fixed income for Asia Pacific, according to a spokesperson.


Alexandre Tavazzi

Alexandre Tavazzi, global strategist and head of CIO Office at Pictet Wealth Management (PWM), has taken on the role of Asia CIO. Based in Hong Kong, he will take up the position from November 8, a spokesperson confirmed.

He will retain his current roles and continue to report to Cesar Perez Ruiz, head of investments and CIO, and locally to Evelyn Yeo in this additional role. David Gaud, the previous Asia CIO, left the firm early this year.

Tavazzi joined Pictet & Cie in 1997 as a senior equity analyst covering the Japanese market and co-managing the bank's Japanese Equity Fund. After being a member of the Pictet Wealth Management Investment Committee from 2004 to 2014, in 2017 he was appointed global strategist and heads the CIO Office of the Wealth Management Investment Platform.

Prior to joining Pictet, he worked at Wako Finance, Lehman Brothers and spent three years with Ferrier Lullin as a senior equity analyst and fund manager on the Japanese market.


James Peagam

JP Morgan Asset Management (JPM AM) has relocated James Peagam, head of global insurance solutions, to Hong Kong from New York, the firm announced on October 20.

Peagam continues his duties overseeing the firm’s over $200 billion global insurance business. He also continues to report to George Gatch, chief executive officer.

Peagam joined the asset manager in 2014 as European head of global insurance solutions and later expanded his role to lead the business globally. Prior to that, he was a managing director in BlackRock's financial institutions group and held various positions in capital markets and commercial banking to the insurance sector.

Outside of JPM AM, Peagam is chairman of the International Expert Advisory Committee (IEAC), a sub-committee of the Insurance Asset Management Association of China (IAMAC).

The US manager has around 70 people for global insurance solutions, a spokesperson told AsianInvestor.


Rejina Rahim

Rejina Rahim, Nomura Asset Management’s country manager in Malaysia, is stepping down by the end of October, according to an Asia Asset Management report, citing sources close to the matter. Nomura declined to comment on her departure.

Rahim will be succeeded by Leslie Yap, who is currently the head of investment. Rejina has joined Nomura Asset Management Malaysia since it was established in 2006. Prior to that, she worked as associate director for institutional marketing at CIMB Principal Asset Management from 1998 to 2006.


Guilherme Lima

BlackRock has appointed Guilherme Lima as its new head of wealth for Asia Pacific, signalling the asset manager’s intent to lead Asia’s fast-growing wealth segment.

Lima will be based in Hong Kong and will work alongside wealth managers, private banks and family offices. He will be responsible for developing strategies that draw from the full spectrum of BlackRock’s offerings to address the needs of wealth clients throughout Asia Pacific.

Most recently, Lima was at Westpac, where he led private banking, commercial banking and SME banking as chief executive of the business division from 2019. Previously, he also worked for HSBC for over a decade in various wealth-related roles in Hong Kong and Sau Paulo. Prior to joining HSBC, Lima was a partner at McKinsey in New York and Sao Paulo.

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