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In case you missed it (4 October 2019)

Standard Chartered poaches from UBS; Sudden departure from Stewart Investors; Julius Baer hires; BIL snaps up CS banker; Legg Mason launches unconstrained Asia fund; AP2 puts China fund managers under scrutiny; "Pig" row economist returns; and more...



People moves

Standard Chartered Private Bank has hired Cedric Lizin from UBS to replace its outgoing regional head of ASEAN and South Asia. Based in Singapore, Lizin was most recently the head of wealth management and senior executive officer for Dubai at the Swiss bank. Srinivas Siripurapu, current regional head for ASEAN and South Asia, and global head of the global South Asia community, private banking, will leave the UK bank on the 8th October. He is returning to India to spend time with his family after three years with Standard Chartered.

Ashish Swarup, lead manager of the Morningstar silver-rated Stewart Investors Global Emerging Markets Leaders strategy, resigned from Stewart Investors, effective immediately. Swarup, who joined the firm from Fidelity in 2014, has led the strategy since October 2016. Taking over as lead manager for all vehicles of the strategy going forward is Tom Prew, a member of the firm since 2006.

Salman Hamid has joined Julius Baer in Singapore after six years at HSBC Private Banking where was most recently a private banker within the international team. In his new role, Hamid is director focused on the non-resident Indian market.

Banque Internationale a Luxembourg (BIL) has poached Roger Groeblias from Credit Suisse as itshead of China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, effective in NovemberThe Luxembourg-based private bank is owned by China’s Legend Holdings, parent company of computer maker Lenovo. Groebli left Geneva’s Reyl in 2015 to run Credit Suisse’s private bank for China out of Zurich, and was later made head of private banking for North Asia.

PwC Singapore has appointed Paul Pak as the new leader of its asset and wealth management practice. Pak has 20 years of experience in wealth and asset management including various roles with PwC in Sydney, New York, London and Singapore. He replaces Justin Ong, who led the unit since 2006.

MSCI has appointed Doug Walls as Apac head of index products, replacing Ted Niggli, who has moved to a newly created global role within the company as head of OneMSCI commercial programs, to focus on commercial innovation at MSCI, effective September 23, 2019. Based in Hong Kong, Walls will report to Diana Tidd, global head of index, and will collaborate with Jack Lin, head of Apac client coverage. Walls has held senior positions during a 20-plus-year tenure in the Asia Pacific region, at various global asset management companies.

The APAC Committee of the Standards Board for Alternative Investments added William Ma, CIO of Noah Holdings (HK) and Brian Pohli, Executive Director of CQS (HK) to its committee. Noah is both a signatory to the Standards and a member of the SBAI Investor Chapter, and CQS is one of the founding members of the SBAI and has been a signatory to the Standards since 2008. The SBAI is the global standard-setting body for the alternative investment industry, supported by over 200 alternative investment managers and institutional investors who collectively manage $4.5trn.

Business moves

Legg Mason has launched the IF Martin Currie Asia Unconstrained fund for the Martin Currie team of Andrew Graham and Paul Danes. The Ucits sub-fund is part of the firm’s existing range of Asian long-term unconstrained strategies. The range has $2.5bn in assets, in strategies managed by Scottish-based fund firm Martin Currie since 2008.

Liontrust Asset Management has announced the completion of its acquisition of Neptune Investment Management in a deal valued at approximately $49m. The deal will see Liontrust’s assets under management grow from $3.5bn to $21bn and expands its fund management scope in Asia, where it had previously not had a footprint in China.

It has emerged that Blackrock has been in discussions with China internet giant Tencent over the past year, exploring ways to strengthen its foothold in China by making the US money manager’s tools and models for building investment portfolios broadly available to the Chinese market.

And also…

Paul Donovan, a veteran economist at UBS Global Wealth Management in London, returned to work after being put on leave in June following comments he made in a company podcast about rising consumer prices in China. He attributed part of the increase to higher pork prices following the spread of African swine fever in the country, and said: “Does this matter? It matters if you are a Chinese pig. It matters if you like eating pork in China. It does not really matter to the rest of the world.” Despite assurances that the comments weren’t meant to be offensive, some securities professionals in Hong Kong and mainland China took umbrage because calling someone “a pig” in the country is derogatory.

The Swedish national pension fund AP2 has put “special measures” in place to monitor the external asset managers it uses for Chinese investments, because of the high risk of human rights abuses in China. The Gothenburg-based fund disclosed the approach in its first report about its work on human rights issues. The $34bn pension fund said it has three mandates in Chinese domestic equities under external management.

Goldman Sachs estimates that between $3bn and $4bn of US dollar deposits moved out of Hong Kong to Singapore in August amid escalating political protests in the SAR. Local currency deposits in Hong Kong also declined in August, falling by 1.6% from the previous month, the biggest drop in more than a year, to about HK$6.84 trillion ($873 billion), according to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

Most viewed investment universes, products and firms in Asia ex-Japan – eVestment Advantage, September 2019

Source: eVestment Advantage, October 2019

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