Posted inFSA Spy

The FSA Spy market buzz 17 07 2015

Change in wholesale distribution at UBS GAM, TransAmerica and Generali and (maybe) in marketing at Schroders; new advertising from Aberdeen and Henderson and more.

FSA Spy has learned that Hong Kong-based, Elsie Chan, current managing director and head of wholesale distribution in Asia-Pacific at UBS Gam is stepping down today. She will join an unnamed American asset manager to build a wholesale team in Asia from scratch. Elsie has been with UBS for nine years.

Is Schroder’s losing long-time head of Asia-Pacific marketing, Grace Ho? Spy‘s source said she has resigned to pursue other opportunities. Grace, based in Hong Kong, has been with Schroders for nearly 12 years. Whether her rumoured departure is actually true, however, is unconfirmed. Grace is currently on holiday, according to the firm. Schroder’s marketing department said they have heard no such news. However, Spy‘s source claims the rumour is true. And without an official denial from the firm, the Spy raises an eyebrow. Jerry Low remains Singapore head of marketing.

US giant Principal Global Investors, best known for its institutional focus, is looking to recruit a new regional head of wholesale distribution to focus on banks, private banks and insurance companies as the company expands its wholesale efforts.

Reflecting tougher times in the insurance-linked investment market, Spy understands that Nick James, North Asia sales manager of Generali, has recently resigned. Nick has been with Generali for more than 10 years. In recent months Standard Life has pulled out of Singapore, where competition has been fierce in the defined market wealth management segment and, if market gossip is true, few wealth management insurers have been making much money.

Sticking with insurance-related wealth management, Spy has heard that Aegon’s UHNW wealth insurer, TransAmerica, has recently lost its Singapore-based director of sales, Gary Harvey who reports to local CEO, Paul Courtney. Gary, who was formally CEO of AXA’s wealth business, Ipac, is rumoured to be joining an as yet unnamed IFA in Singapore as their new CEO. TransAmerica is actively looking to replace Gary.

Spy has an unusual obsession with spotting asset management ad campaigns. Sightings this week include Columbia Threadneedle on Hong Kong’s slow-moving, classic trams.


In Singapore, Henderson Global Investors advertising was spotted in the “let’s influence UBS spot” underneath One Raffles Quay. The firm is focusing on European Equities. Aberdeen has returned to Raffles Place MRT with a campaign for its Pacific Equity Fund. Spy has heard from industry sources that asset management outdoor advertising in Singapore has reached a record high and has now eclipsed all print spend combined, reflecting tough competition in retail distribution.



Part of the Mark Allen Group.