St. James’s Place Wealth Management Asia, the Singapore-based Asia operation of FTSE 100 wealth manager SJP, has lured the head of a major Singaporean rival, Nexus Financial Services Pte Ltd, to succeed its departing chief executive, Nigel Preston.
Gary Harvey is set to join SJP Asia in March, when Preston is set to return to St James’s Place UK, subject to regulatory approval, SJP Asia said in a statement today.
Harvey has been chief executive of the Nexus Financial operation in Singapore since 2015. That was the year that the Nexus operation was established by the acquisition of Zurich Life’s tied agency business in the city-state by the the Dubai-based Nexus Group, which, according to local press reports at the time, said that it viewed Singapore as the region’s financial hub.
Altogether, Harvey, a Singapore citizen, has worked in the financial services sector for almost 30 years, SJP said, more than 20 years of which he’s spent in Asia, the last 15 of which he’s been in Singapore.
Prior to joining Nexus he spent 18 years with AXA, including a stint with its now-defunct IPAC Wealth Management Asia operation, and for the Singapore Branch of Transamerica Life (Bermuda).
He is currently vice president of the Financial Planning Association of Singapore, an executive committee member of the Association of Financial Advisers (Singapore), and is a member of both the Australian and Singapore Institutes of Directors, SJP Asia said.
It described him as being “known for his passion in driving high standards of professionalism and client-centricity”.
Preston has led SJP Asia since it was formed in 2015, after SJP acquired what was then known as the Henley Group, an expatriate-focused advisory business originally founded in 1990 in Hong Kong, and acquired in 2002 by Antony Michell.
Michell expanded the business, adding outposts in Singapore and Shanghai and moving its head office to Singapore before selling it to St James’s Place in 2014, a year after establishing a UK office in Bristol, England, in partnership with St James Place.
At that time (2013) Michell estimated the firm had around “4,000-plus clients”, most of whom originally hailed from the UK.
St James’s Place’s interest in expanding into Asia coincided with the launch of Singapore-based Asian wealth management offices by a number of major life insurance companies and other entities, including Nexus.
Earlier this month, SJP Asia announced that it had hired two long-time Fry Group executives, Miles Gooseman and Martin Rimmer, as part of its continuing expansion of its Singapore presence.
Gooseman would, SJP Asia said, be principal of a new “advisory team”, to be known as Select Investors, which SJP Asia is setting up to provide holistic tax, wealth and succession advice to British, Australian and Singaporean clients. Rimmer, who had been head of tax at Fry’s Singapore outpost, will head up the operation’s tax offering, SJP Asia said.