Posted inNews

In case you missed it (22 February 2019)

Singapore robo firm hires HKMA's alts CIO; Willis Towers Watson hires from Legg Mason; BNY Mellon names new APAC comms and marketing head; UBS fined $5.1bn in France, while StanChart puts aside $900m for potential fines in the US and UK; and more...

From the press release desk this week…

 

People moves

Singapore-based Xen Technologies, which is expected to launch a robo-advisory platform investing in alternative asset classes this year, has appointed Huh Yong Hak to its board of advisors. Before Xen, Huh was chief investment officer for private markets and direct investment at the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, where he managed a $25bn alternative asset portfolio. As an advisor, Huh will provide strategic advice on Xen’s commercial and regulatory activities, including working with the firm’s team to broaden the range of alternative investment opportunities available through its platform…

Willis Towers Watson has appointed Edwina Ho as a Hong Kong-based investment director for its investments business in Asia. Ho will be responsible for working with the firm’s institutional clients across the Greater China market to help improve investment outcomes by identifying investment approaches best suited to their needs. Before Willis Towers Watson, Ho was head of Legg Mason’s institutional business for Hong Kong in China, where she worked with sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, insurance companies, family offices and wealth managers…

BNY Mellon has appointed Man Sai as head of communications and marketing for Asia-Pacific, according to a Telum Media alert. He replaced Karen Khaw, who moved to Barclays Investment Bank in October last year. Before BNY Mellon, Man spent almost six years as head of internal communications for Asia-Pacific at Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Australia

GAM’s systemic alternative risk premia strategy has won a A$275m ($195.24m) investment from an Australian superannuation pension fund. The strategy typically targets around 15 risk premia strategies across the style categories of value, momentum and carry. Lars Jaeger, head of alternative risk premia at GAM, believes that the strategy has the potential to generate performance patterns which have until recently largely remain uncaptured or accessible only to hedge fund managers…

Regulation and enforcement

After six weeks of hearings, a French court has ordered UBS to pay a fine of at least $5.1bn, after finding the bank guilty of illegally soliciting wealthy French clients to help them evade tax. Of the total fines, around €800m ($907m) will go directly to the French government. In a statement, the Swiss bank said that it reiterates that it consistently contested any criminal wrongdoing in this case and has already filed its appeal of the verdict. “The conviction is not supported by any concrete evidence. In addition, following a detailed review of the judgment, it is clear that the decision contains significant flaws that will need to be addressed by the Court of Appeals…”

Standard Chartered is putting aside $900m for potential fines involving separate investigations into breaches of US sanctions and foreign exchange trading issues, as well as a £102.2m ($133.17m) fine from the UK related to financial crime controls, according to media reports. Srikanth Vadlamani, senior credit officer for financial institutions group at Moody’s Investors Service, believes that the bank’s strong capital will help absorb one-off penalties related to legacy issues. “While the $900m in litigation provisions will have a negative impact on profits, given the large amount, the figure is equivalent to only 2% of the bank’s CET1 capital,” she said…

The Securities and Futures Commission has reprimanded Guosen Securities (HK) Brokerage and fined it HK$15.2m ($1.94m) for failures in complying with anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist (CFT) regulatory requirements when handling third party fund deposits. The regulator’s investigation revealed that between 2014 and 2015, Guosen had processed 10,000 third-party deposits totalling around HK$5bn for at least 3,500 clients. The investigation found that at least 100 clients received third-party deposits that were incommensurate with their financial profiles, some third party deposits were withdrawn by clients shortly after receiving the funds without being used for trading and certain third parties made numerous deposits to the accounts of Guosen’s clients and had no apparent relationships with these clients. Despite the apparent AML/CFT red flags, Guosen failed to make enquiries about such deposits and did not submit suspicious transaction reports to the Joint Financial Intelligence Unit in a timely manner…

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