David Macdonald, best known to many in the international financial services industry for his years with Royal Skandia in Asia, has been named sales and marketing director for VAM Funds, succeeding Nigel Watson, who has left the company.
Macdonald will be based in the UK, and report to VAM Group chairman Peter de Putron, the company said in a statement.
Prior to joining VAM, Macdonald was taking a year’s career break for family reasons and to travel, before which he was based for 13 years in Singapore. Ten of these were spent with Royal Skandia, and the rest with various other industry organisations and – for around five years – the Singapore outpost of the British Chamber of Commerce.
Macdonald said he plans to differentiate VAM from its rivals by focusing on its strategy of “thinking globally, but acting locally”, as well as by “leveraging the power of social media to communicate and interact with our business partners”.
Luxembourg-based, UK Financial Conduct Authority-regulated VAM calls itself a “specialist” fund manager, with more than US$500m funds under management. It says its approach is to “partner with smaller, niche investment houses outside the mainstream”, where, it says, there are better returns to be had than from more mainstream investment options.
VAM was founded in 2001, and last year, entered into a strategic partnership with Close Brothers AM, to meet what they said at the time was a growing demand from non-UK-based advisers and their clients for discretionary fund management services.
Watson, who had been with VAM for six years, left the business in July to found Provisca, a new UK-based, outsourced international distribution company for what he calls “major blue-chip product providers”, with Bryan Low, the Edinburgh-based founder of Acuity Consultants.