People Moves APAC: Lenovo, Knight Frank, KPMG, Mahindra
It’s been busy week across Asia Pacific with hires spanning industries, from insurance and real estate to technology, consulting and banking, and countries, from India to Singapore to Hong Kong, and includes two hiring firsts and the appointment of 10 new Partners at KPMG Singapore, brought in to "navigate these uncertain times", says KPMG Singapore Managing Partner Pang Thye Ong.
Here’s Business Chief’s weekly roundup of the biggest executive moves in EMEA, March 25-31.
Karim Gilani named President, International Hubs, Sun Life
Currently serving as Sun Life Asia’s CFO, Karim Gilani has been promoted to the role of President, International Hubs, which is Sun Life’s businesses in Hong Kong, Bermuda, and Singapore. Having previously held a variety of leadership roles in risk, actuarial, products, reinsurance and consulting at ManuLife and Swiss Re. Gilani joined Sun Life in 2015 becoming CFO in 2017, where he build a strong network and a deep understanding or the firm’s strategic agenda in Asia. “His extensive knowledge of our business and his strategic and financial leadership will be invaluable as we continue to grow our Hong Kong MPF and life and health insurance businesses,” says Leo Grepin, Sun Life President.
Amar Babu to lead Lenovo’s operations in Asia Pacific
Lenovo veteran Amar Babu has been promoted to Vice President of Lenovo Services Operations and will lead the Chinese tech titan’s business in Asia pacific. Babu joined the Chinese tech titan in 2007, first serving as Managing Director, Lenovo India, where he grew the firm’s PC market share from 8% to 20% in less than a decades, and more recently, since 2018, serving as VP & Service Operations Leader of Lenovo Intelligent Devices Group. This new role will see Babu in charge of PC, smart devices, mobile and data centre businesses for the vendor across nine Asia pacific countries.
Anish Shah appointed CEO of Mahindra Group
Following the succession last year of Anand Mahindra to role of non-executive chairman, Anish Shah has become the first professional MD and CEO in the history of Indian multinational corporation, the Mahindra Group, and will have complete oversight of and responsibility for the Mahindra Group businesses.
Currently serving as the Deputy Managing Director and Group CFO for the Group, prior to joining Mahindra in 2015, Shah spent 14 years at GE Capital India, where as CEO, he led the transformation of the business, including a turnaround of its SBI Card joint venture, and prior to that served as a strategy consultant with Bain & Company in Boston. Describing Shah as “the right leader for the Mahindra Group”, Anand Mahindra adds that Shah “embodies the spirit of Rise and brings an exceptional leadership track record, strong international exposure and a unique ability to forge long-standing relationships with our customers, partners and our employees”.
Neil Brookes to lead Global Capital Markets at Knight Frank
Currently serving as head of APAC capital markets and based in Singapore, Neil Brookes has been promoted to global head of capital markets, making him the company’s first global level leader outside the UK.
Having led more than US$8.5 billion in cross-border transactions and major asset sales and having brokered such big-ticket transactions as the disposal of 52 Goulburn Street in Sydney for Credit Suisse, Brookes brings to the the new role a “track record and depth of relationships with investors based in Asia Pacific” that makes him the “standout candidate”, says Alistair Elliott, senior partner at Knight Frank. Prior to joining Knight Frank in 2013, Brookes as an equity partner at McVay Real Estate in Australia and served as director of international investments at both CBRE and Savills in Australia.
People Moves APAC: Lenovo, HSBC AM, Morgan Stanley, Zafin
In a week where Lenovo makes a raft of new APAC leadership appointments to support its goal of expanding its offerings in the region, we round up the latest executive moves across Asia Pacific.
Eddie Ang appointed head of relationship segment at Lenovo APAC
Former Lenovo Singapore general manager Eddie Ang has been promoted to head of the relationship segment to oversee key business relationships and further lead the original equipment manufacturer, profit manager, and workstation teams. With more than two decades of experience in the IT industry, including 14 years at Lenovo where he has worked in executive positions covering APAC, Ang has strong regional knowledge and a track record of crafting and implementing strategies to deliver incremental growth in market share, revenue and operating income. Prior to Lenovo, Ang spent nearly a decade with Dell Technologies in both Japan and Malaysia.
Seok Poh Yeoh to head up credit research for HSBC in Asia
Seasoned finance exec Seok Poh Yeoh is set to take the reins for credit research across Asia for HSBC Asset Management, where she will strengthen the integration within the firm’s global investment platform and support sustainable investment efforts. With 16 years of industry experience, including at Credit Suisse and more than a decade at HSBC AM, which she joined as a financial analyst in 2012, Yeoh has been instrumental in strengthening credit research processes in Asia, according to HSBC. According to Elizabeth Allen, head of Asian fixed income at HSBC AM, Yeoh’s “analytical and research background, combined with her sustained involvement in the global fund offerings, make her the ideal candidate to lead the Asian research platform”.
Bilal Al-Ali to join Morgan Stanley as head of structured sales
Former UBS head of structured sales Bilal Al-Ali is set to join Morgan Stanley as head of structured sales for APAC. With 14 years of experience in quantitative research spanning both London and Hong Kong and across banks including ABN AMRO, RBS, BNP Paribas and UBS, Al-Ali has been with UBS in Asia for more than a decade most recently serving as Head of APAC Structured Sales.
Nicholle Linder appointed SVP, APAC at fintech Zafin
With the aim of spearheading growth across APAC, Nicholle Lindner has been appointed as Senior Vice President for global fintech leader Zafin. Bringing more than two decades of experience in the Asia Pacific financial services industry to the fintech table, Linder’s “extensive industry experience, innovative thinking and deep understanding of the industry’s digital transformation needs make her the perfect leader to deliver Zafin’s value proposition in the region”, says Jay Ryan, Chief Revenue Officer at Zafin. Lindner has held strategic leadership roles with leading Australian financial institutions including Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac Group. Most recently, Lindner served as senior director at Capgemini Financial Services where she developed strategy and new business initiatives for the firm’s financial services practice in APAC.
Neil Macdonald to head up APAC’s asset managers for State Street
Former KPMG head Neil Macdonald has been appointed by State Street to the firm’s newly created role of APAC head of asset managers, where he will be responsible for leading the company’s engagement strategy for asset manager clients across Asia Pacific, from strategic direction to solutions structuring. Macdonald has a prestigious past, having served as chief operating officer for BlackRock’s institutional clients across EMEA, and more recently serving as COO of global investments solutions at JP Morgan Asset Management. According to Mostapha Tahiri, State Street’s APAC CEO, “Neil’s experience and deep understanding of asset managers’ needs will strengthen our positioning to be an essential partner and trusted advisor for asset managers in the region”.
Priscilla Sims Brown named Amalgamated Financial’s next president and CEO
Joining from the Commonwealth Bank in Australia, Priscilla Sims Brown has been named the next president and CEO of Amalgamated Financial. Brown has more than three decades of experience in the financial services industry, having held leadership roles in firms spanning banking, wealth management, retirement and insurance.
Joining from the Commonwealth Bank in Australia, where she served as group executive of marketing and corporate affairs, overseeing end-to-end marketing, branding, public affairs and social policy, Brown’s previous experience includes senior positions at ACA Financial, Sun Life Financial as well as serving as CMO at Amerihealth/Caritas and as CEO of a digital health insurance brokerage startup, Emerge.me. According to Lynne Fox, interim president and CEO of Amalgamated, “Priscilla is exactly what we need to take Amalgamated to its next stage: a highly experienced and inspiration leader whose vision aligns perfectly with ours, and we are thrilled that she has agreed to serve as our next CEO”.