PEOPLE MOVES: Franklin Templeton, TOBAM

Franklin Templeton Investments has appointed Avinash Satwalekar as country head and chief executive of its Malaysia operation, the California-based asset management behemoth has announced.

Satwalekar (pictured left) joins Franklin Templeton from Vietcombank Fund Management (VCBF), a joint venture between Franklin Templeton and the Joint-Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam, better known as Vietcombank.

The move sees Satwelekar relocating from Ho Chi Minh City to Kuala Lumpur, where he will be spearheading the group’s activities across Malaysia, both retail and institutional.

He will be reporting to Adam Quaife, Franklin Templeton’s regional head for Southeast Asia.

Satwelekar replaces Sandeep Singh who becomes Franklin Templeton’s senior director and regional head, Central Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA), a move that sees Singh relocating from Kuala Lumpur to Dubai.

Satwelekar will retain an active role in Franklin Templeton’s Vietnamese business by becoming chairman of the board at VCBF.

He has 20 years’ experience within Franklin Templeton and prior to his role in Vietnam, he was a portfolio manager and research analyst for Franklin Equity Group, based at the firm’s headquarters in San Mateo, California.

Commenting on the role, managing director for Asia Mark Brown pointed to Malaysia’s expanding middle class, healthy growth rates in unit trust penetration and “an established infrastructure for Islamic finance” as marking the country out for significant potential in the asset management company’s plans for growth in the region.

Franklin Templeton is in the top 25 global asset managers, with a reported US$814bn of assets under management.

TOBAM recruits for new trading and research role

TOBAM has appointed Frédéric Jamet in the newly created role of head of trading and co-head of research,  the Paris-headquartered ‘anti-benchmark’ asset manager has announced.

The French boutique said that as head of trading, Jamet (pictured left) will oversee all trading activities within TOBAM’s equities, fixed income, forex and multi-asset strategies.

His role as co-head of research will consist of supporting the boutique’s sustained efforts to develop its maximum diversification approach’s theoretical foundations. In addition,  he will supervise research development for the firm’s operational and portfolio management divisions.

Based in Paris, Jamet will be managing TOBAM’s team across Paris and Dublin where the firm opened an office earlier this year.

Before joining TOBAM, Jamet spent 11 years as head of investments at State Street Global Advisors France..

Formerly, Jamet was head of the index equity unit for State Street, creating and managing a range of index funds and ETFs.

Prior to his tenure at State Street, Jamet had held a number of positions including head of derivative research at HSBC, and before that had held responsibility for new quantitative products at Credit Lyonnais.

Commenting on the appointment, TOBAM president Yves Choueifaty paid tribute to Jamet’s “impressive blend of experience on both the academic and investment management sides”, describing it as a perfect fit  for TOBAM’s philosophy and approach to investment.

He added that Jamet’s “personal involvement and extensive experience in the field of factor investing and smart beta innovation” made him a key factor in the firm’s growth strategy when it comes to developing innovations in its product range.

Jamet said that TOBAM had been a natural choice for him as he admired the firm’s “innovative thinking and differentiated approach to smart beta”, and that the current debate taking place around active management and passive management as well as the future of indexing meant this was an exciting time to be joining.

Tobam has $8.5bn (£6.4bn) of assets under management.

Gardner departs AIG for Generali Asia

Neil Gardner is moving from AIG to Generali Asia where he will take on the role of chief customer officer for Asia, reporting Asia regional officer Roberto Leonardi.

He will be responsible for marketing and communication, digital and analytics, and “integrating operations as part of the overall customer experience”, the company said.

Gardner will be based in Hong Kong, Generali’s regional hub, and spent four years at AIG.

In Asia, Generali operates in ten markets: China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. It is one of the leading foreign insurers in the Life segment operating in China.

Established in 1831, it is headquartered in Milan, is present in more than 60 countries and its total premium income last year exceeded £150bn.

Standard Chartered continues huge expansion in Hong Kong

Standard Chartered Private Bank today announced 17 senior appointments in Hong Kong, bringing the total number of regional managers and advisers the banks has hired in Greater China and North Asia (GCNA) to more than 50.

The appointments below are all based in Hong Kong and effective immediately:

  • Jack Wu and Pauline Ko, managing directors, market heads
  • Pitman Lau, managing director, team leader
  • Reggie Cheung, executive director, team leader
  • Bell Wong and Fredric Leung, executive directors, client advisory (in addition to eight other regional managers)
  • Chris Tang, Kwok-On Fung and Chris Tong, executive directors, investment advisory










Eugene Costello
Eugene Costello has been a journalist for some 20 years, and has written for a wide variety of UK and international newspapers and magazines.

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