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ON THE MOVE: Allianz Names Thavarajah APAC CEO; First Sentier Appoints Prendiville Asia Distribution Head

Anusha Thavarajah, Allianz

Allianz Asia Pacific has named Anusha Thavarajah as Regional Chief Executive Officer, effective December 1. She will succeed Solmaz Altin, who is moving on after 13 years with the firm.

In her new role, Thavarajah will be responsible for delivering Allianz Asia Pacific’s long-term growth strategy as well as leading the business’s ongoing transformation efforts. She is currently Allianz Asia Pacific’s Regional CEO of Life & Health, having joined the business in December 2019 from AIA Malaysia.

Thavarajah has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, having served in various senior leadership roles in the UK, Hong Kong and Malaysia. She was also President of the Malaysia Life Insurance Association.

Lauren Prendiville, First Sentier

First Sentier Investors has appointed Lauren Prendiville to the role of Managing Director and Head of Distribution in Asia. Based in Singapore, she has over 20 years of asset management experience, working across multiple client segments including pension funds, central banks, sovereign wealth funds, endowments and private clients.

First Sentier Investors’ CEO Mark Steinberg said: “The Asian region represents a key growth opportunity for our business. Lauren’s promotion is a natural progression of her expanding oversight role in the region and her proven track record in leading the business development and driving the business strategy capabilities in the region.”

In addition, Christy Goh has been appointed as the firm’s Head of Distribution, Southeast Asia. According to the firm, Goh’s promotion reflects her tenure and achievements, particularly the success she has achieved in growing the wholesale business in the region. Goh is also based in Singapore and will now report to Prendiville.

HyungKoo Lee, Mercer

Mercer named HyungKoo Lee as its Korea CEO. He was previously Korea CEO of insurance and brokerage firm Marsh, a sister company of Mercer, and Country Corporate Officer for Marsh McLennan, the parent firm of both, in Korea. He continues in both roles, making this the first time Marsh and Mercer have had a unified CEO role in Asia.

In his new capacity, Lee will drive greater collaboration between the two businesses, allowing them to combine the insurance broking and risk advisory capabilities of Marsh with the consulting expertise of Mercer. He is based in Seoul and will report directly to Renée McGowan, President for Mercer across Asia, Middle East & Africa, and Svein Tyldum, Chief Executive Officer of Marsh North Asia.

Mercer’s Asia head, Renée McGowan, said Lee’s appointment comes at a time when parent company Marsh McLennan is investing in its growth in Korea. Calling him a proven leader with a distinguished track record and strong understanding of the business, culture and people, she said: “As the challenges confronting our clients are increasingly interrelated and more complex, we see an opportunity to collaborate more closely across Marsh McLennan’s businesses to make a bigger impact for clients as one enterprise.”

Isaac Meng, Manulife

Manulife Investment Management has hired Isaac Meng, who previously led PIMCO Asia’s China fixed income strategy, to run its bond assets in the country as managing director and portfolio manager. Meng, who has over 25 years of industry experience, will report to Paula Chan, senior managing director and senior portfolio manager, Asia fixed income.

The company has also hired Judy Kwok from Bank of Singapore as head of Greater China fixed income research, further bolstering its Hong Kong-based team, which runs $5.7bn dedicated China bond assets. She was most recently a director of fixed income research at Bank of Singapore.

Ryusuke Shigetomi, Blackstone

Blackstone has recruited Ryusuke Shigetomi as Chairman and Representative Director of Japan to oversee the firm’s continued growth in the market and help navigate the local financial and regulatory environments.

Shigetomi joins Blackstone from Morgan Stanley, where he served as Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley Global Investment Banking and Managing Director of Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities’ Investment Banking Division and its Head of Telecommunication, Media and Technology Banking.

Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Blackstone, said: “Ryusuke brings nearly four decades of experience in Japan’s financial industry and a reputation of excellence. We are thrilled to have him join at an exciting time of growth for Blackstone in Japan.”