Vanguard today announced that Scott Conking has been named head of Vanguard Asia, and he will assume responsibility for management, distribution, and operations of Vanguard’s Asia business. His appointment was effective on 13 March 2020, according to a statement from the firm.
He is based in Hong Kong, according to a firm spokeswoman, and will oversee offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tokyo in the new position.
Conking succeeds Axel Lomholt, who has served as interim head of Vanguard Asia since the end of 2019, and he will report to James Norris, head of international operations, the statement noted.
Lomholt will continue to play a strategic leadership role in Vanguard Asia and will report to Conking, the spokeswoman said.
Conking joined the firm in 1984. He was previously principal and head of the firm’s US-based institutional investor services.
Passive product giant Vanguard is the world’s second largest asset manager by AUM, but has a relatively small presence in Asia. The world’s largest manager, arch rival Blackrock, has far more passive fund assets in Asia through its i-Shares unit.
However, with the appointment of Conking, Vanguard seems to be firming up its leadership in the region, perhaps in preparation for introducing more funds. In November, the firm appointed Yan Pu to fill the newly-created role of managing director and head of investment management group for China.
In December, Vanguard and Ant Financial set up an investment advisory joint-venture targeting the China retail market.
Globally, Vanguard Group managed $6.2trn at of the end of January 2020 in mutual fund, separately managed accounts and ETF assets, the statement noted.