Russell assigns more specialists to Asia

The firmÆs operations in the region now include an investment management group and an arm of the global real estate property division.
Russell Investments has made a number of senior hires in its regional office in Singapore.

The expansion is in line with the firmÆs plan to provide regional clients with country-specific specialists and to set up dedicated Asia-based services such as an investment management research group.

Six of these new hires are external appointments while an additional four are internal moves from within the firm. Some of the hires are country-specific specialists while others have global expertise in various products or market segments.

Two new functions have been added to the Russell Investments operation in Asia: an investment management and research group and an arm of the global real estate property division.

The new hires include: Yuseok Kim, senior business development manager for Korea; Sungjin Jung, business development associate for Korea; Crystal Chen, China representative; Amanda Lin, business development associate for Singapore and Taiwan; and Lisa Susanto, marketing manager for Asia. As previously reported by AsianInvestor, Martin Lamb has been hired as head of property for Asia-Pacific.

Kim worked for Korea Investment Trust Management in Seoul where he managed their emerging market property fund of funds and co-investment in Vietnam properties. Jung was with Hanwha Trust Investment Management Limited prior to joining Russell Investments. Chen joined from the National Council for Social Security Fund in Beijing where she was responsible for international cooperation and programmes. Lin was previously with UBS Global Asset Management (Singapore) where she was responsible for client servicing in the Asia region. Susanto was previously with Reuters (now Thomson Reuters) where she had responsibilities for marketing communications and events. Lamb was previously based in China where he set up the Shanghai office of Gerrity International, a retail shopping centre developer in China.

The internal appointments from Russell InvestmentsÆ global operations include: Shin Kubo, head of research for Asia-Pacific ex-Japan; Kathrine Husvaeg and Chaitanya Shrivastava, senior research analysts for investment management and research; and Warwick Smith, product specialist for Asia.

The growth of the multimanager concept has been gaining ground in Asia over the last five years as investors in the region have become more sophistication, and this is the demand Russell Investment hopes to meet in the region.

ôRussellÆs recent growth is the result of our decision to align our resources and capabilities to better serve the needs of our clients throughout the region,ö says Bruce Pflaum, RussellÆs managing director for Asia. ôOver the last few years, we are finding that we need to provide our Asian clients with an increasingly diverse mix of investment solutions.ö

Investors in Asia are following in the footsteps of those in the US, Europe, and Australia and are seeing the benefits of multimanager platforms as a way of achieving a truly diversified investment vehicle, Pflaum says.

Pflaum believes the growing interest in multimanager platforms is also due to a much greater understanding by Asian institutional investors on the benefits of outsourcing the day-to-day operations of portfolio management.

ôInstitutional investors are now accepting that by focusing on high-level decisions such as setting investment objectives, strategic asset allocation and governance they can outsource manager selection, monitoring and reporting to achieve improved efficiencies and better returns,ö he says.

US-based Russell Investments is among the pioneers of multimanager investing. It set up its Asian operations in 1986 when it opened an office in Tokyo. It established an office in Singapore and since then Russell has forged a number of relationships with institutional clients and retail partners throughout the region including Thailand, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and China. In 2007, the firm opened a representative office in Seoul.

A subsidiary of Northwestern Mutual, US-based Russell Investments manages around $211 billion worldwide.
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