Posted inFSA Spy

The FSA Spy market buzz – 12 Feb 16

Exit at Pictet; New head at Barings; Relocations at Aviva Investors and Amundi; Product rumours at HSBC GAM; Negative yields; PGIM in lights; Lehman Brothers Whisky and much more.

Spy is still suffering a Chinese New Year hangover as he foolishly attempted to swap Bordeaux for Baiju 白酒 in the spirit of the season. He is now feeling like a Hong Kong Stock Market trader after the Lunar New Year: a tad down in the dumps.

Spy hears that Mike Evans has taken over the global head of marketing role at Barings and Claire Fraser has stepped down and joined another firm in the UK. Mike remains based in London, but will be overseeing marketing efforts in Asia, too.

The great post-CNY shuffle in Hong Kong has begun. Sandy So, head of marketing and communications at Pictet AM, has left to join another manager. Her new role is as yet undisclosed, as is her replacement. Watch this space.

Patrick Tissot-Favre of Amundi is relocating back to Paris from Hong Kong. Will the Hong Kong Open ever be the same again?  Spy understands Patrick’s role is not being replaced in the same fashion as Amundi is expecting to build separate institutional and wholesale teams.

Meanwhile, Scott Callander, managing director of global client solutions at Aviva Investors, is going to be moving to Asia from the Middle East. Spy understands he will be based in Aviva’s shiny new office at Raffles Quay in Singapore. Aviva Investors is beefing up its promotion of AIMS, its global multi-asset solution and Scott will be overseeing its business development across the region.

Whispers overheard in Spy’s drinking establishments suggest that HSBC GAM may be looking to launch a product in the European multi-asset income space in Asia. Following the success that BNP Paribas IP has had, it would be no surprise to see the global giant roll out a similar product. Unconfirmed but likely is the weather report.

If you are wondering about the level of global fear in credit markets. Look no further than this extraordinary bit of news from Reuters. “With the historic fall in Japan’s 10-year government bond yield below zero on Tuesday, the value of government bonds around the world registering negative yields is now above $6 trillion”.  Spy may just be a simple sort of a guy, but that number makes him scratch his stubble and reach for a large cigar. When people ask how much lower can sovereign yields get, the answer may just be “Quite a lot”.

It has been more than seven years since Lehman Brothers closed its doors, but the memories linger like good Scotch. Or so some entrepreneurial fellow seems to think. A report in Marketwatch on a legal spat over the name “Lehman Brothers Whisky”, which has Barclays on one side and James Green the distiller on the other, has yet to be concluded. It’s giving the lawyers yet more fat from Lehman’s bankruptcy cow. Spy thinks Mr Green is flogging a dead horse with that brand name, but seldom objects to new whisky arriving on the market and is thus feeling decidedly conflicted.

Outdoor and overt asset management advertising in Asia has been a bit thin on the ground of late, especially in the run up to CNY. However, one new brand beginning to get active though is PGIM. If you missed it, PGIM is the new name for Prudential Financial’s investment manager (that would be the American one, not to be confused with Pru or Eastspring). With a meagre $950bn in assets, Spy understands a global advance is being undertaken by the storied institutional specialist with campaigns in Europe, Middle East and Asia on their way.

Although we already seem to have a pesky fire monkey playing havoc with global markets, Spy hopes you had a good Chinese New Year break. Though it does seem like many of you are like Spy, adding two days onto the three-day holiday.

Until next week…

Part of the Mark Allen Group.