The second half of last year, and particularly the final quarter, saw a notable upturn in hiring activity in Asia. As in the first half of 2017, this was largely driven by increasing regulatory change & technology transformation, bench-strength enhancement & succession planning, and was predominantly in the consumer banking, insurance and asset management sectors.


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Key APAC market themes:

The second half of last year, and particularly the final quarter, saw a notable upturn in hiring activity in Asia. As in the first half of 2017, this was largely driven by increasing regulatory change & technology transformation, bench-strength enhancement & succession planning, and was predominantly in the consumer banking, insurance and asset management sectors.

Leathwaite recently published both its 2017/18 Global CHRO Survey and 2017/18 Global CFO Survey. Both highlighted the influence of regulatory change and technology transformation on hiring requirements across all enablement and infrastructure groups and not solely the governance and technology functions. This is leading to an increasing demand across a number of specialist roles including data analytics, cyber security, robotics and AI.

The wider change agenda is also highlighting the need to continue efforts to up-skill more senior infrastructure roles, particularly within technology and operations, as companies look to better align legacy technology and operations with today’s business while also exploring and adopting emerging technologies, digitization and automation processes.

Consequently, hiring managers are increasingly needing to be bolder in the hiring strategies that they pursue and more open to considering out of sector and out of industry talent. The success of securing and successfully on-boarding more ‘ambitious’ hires will vary greatly between different companies.

While most senior stakeholders understand the change journey that the organization is on, there often remains an aversion to making non-traditional appointments, with search strategies quickly narrowing to focus on traditional candidate pools. There are a number of reasons for this, including greater hiring accountability, leading to decision hesitation as well as genuine concerns around culture compatibility.

Although hiring accountability can result in hiring managers being hesitant to make bolder appointments, a more positive by-product is a greater focus on implementing robust succession planning strategies and a more comprehensive and analytical approach to talent acquisition – including better utilisation of data – to minimize ‘organ rejection’ and the wrong type of disruptive hires.

How organizations address and manage these challenges and concerns, and how they develop talent retention and acquisition strategies, will determine how successful they are in making truly transformative appointments in the coming weeks and months.

Key APAC Commercial appointments:

  • Stuart A. Spencer joins AIA as Group Chief Marketing Officer. He joins from Zurich where he was CEO for General Insurance Asia and then Group CEO for Asia.
  • Joyce Phillips joins AXA as CEO, Customer Innovation and New Business. Joyce joins from ANZ where she was CEO Global Wealth and Group Managing Director Marketing & Innovation.
  • Andrea Valecchi was appointed Asia Head of Employee Benefits for Generali.
  • Bruce de Broize joins Generali as APAC Head of Distribution. He was previously AXA APAC Head of Distribution.
  • Neil Gardner joins Generali as Asia Chief Customer Officer. Neil joins from HDD Asia Consulting where he was Regional Director.
  • Joyce Au-Yeung joins MetLife as Asia Head of Health, from FWD Group where she was VP, Distribution Strategy.
  • Sanjeev Kapur joins MetLife as APAC Chief Marketing Officer. He joins from Citibank where he was APAC EMEA Hed of Marketing and Digital Sales.
  • Bettina Pidcock was appointed QBE Insurance, Australia & New Zealand Chief Customer Officer.
  • Angus Fu joins Sun Life as Financial Director, Agency Distribution. He joins from AIA where he was Head of Distribution Platforms & Agency Strategy.
  • Mei-Chee Shum joined Willis Towers Watson as Life Insurance Sales and Practice Leader, Greater China. She joins from AIA where she was Chief Marketing Officer for Philam.

Key APAC CEO appointments:

  • John Cai was appointed AIA Regional Chief Executive (AIA’s operations in China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan and Myanmar). He was previously CEO of AIA China.
  • Jacky Chan was appointed AIA Regional Chief Executive (AIA’s operations in Hong Kong and Macau, Singapore and Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines and Cambodia) & Group Agency Distribution AIA CEO of AIA Hong Kong and Macau. Jacky replaces Gordon Watson, who has left to pursue other interests.
  • Paula Choi joins Dai Sing Life as General Manager, Life Insurance. She joins from Erwin Enterprise (HK) Limited where she was General Manager for Life Insurance Hong Kong.
  • Cilin O’Flynn joins Generali as CEO for Hong Kong. He was previously Group Head of Strategic Partnerships and Business Development for the Italian Insurer based out of Milan.
  • Helena Chen was appointed Mastercard Country Manager, Hong Kong and Macau. She moves internally where she was previously Division Head, Market Development. Hong Kong, Macau & Taiwan.
  • Tony Wilkey stepped down as Chief Executive of PCA. He will be succeeded by Nic Nicandrou who was previously Chief Financial Officer at Prudential plc in the UK, with his role being backfilled by external appointment of Mark Fitzpatrick who joins from Deloitte UK.
  • Kerry Wong joins REA Group as Greater China CEO. She was previously Senior Director for Global Operations, Operational Excellence in Asia for PayPal.

Key APAC Governance appointments:


  • Saskia Bosch van Rosenthal joined FWD as Head of Regulatory Change. She joins from PwC where she was the Director Risk & Regulatory.
  • Bob Dhillon joins Morgan Stanley as Head of Asia Pacific Operational Risk. He was previously Global COO, Global Banking Operational Risk and Internal Control at HSBC.
  • Mary Low joins Northern Trust as SVP, Regional Head of Operational Risk Management. She was previously with Société Générale as APAC Head of Operational Risk, Securities.
  • Mark Baxter was appointed by QBE Insurance as CRO for Australia & New Zealand.
  • Wendy Phillis joins RBC Investor & Treasury Services as MD, Governance and Regulatory Solutions for Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. She joins from ICAP where she was Group Chief Risk and Compliance Office. Wendy will be based in London.


  • Christoph Kurth, joins Baker McKenzie as Partner for Compliance and Investigations. He was formerly General Counsel for Wealth Management, Asia Pacific at UBS.
  • James Chang joins DLA Piper as Corporate Partner based in Beijing, from Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom.
  • Alan Linning joins Mayer Brown as Partner within the Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice. He was previously with Sidley Austin, Head of Disputes and Regulatory Group.
  • Angelia Chia and Ben Sandstad join Mayer Brown in Singapore, from Standard Chartered Bank, as partners in the Banking & Finance practice. They will co-lead a pan-Asia team focusing on trade finance, structured finance and governance and advisory services.
  • Philip Monaghan joins O’Melveny & Myers as a Partner for Antirust & Competition. He joins from Hong Kong Competition Commission.
  • James Ford was named Head of Investment Funds for O’Melveny & Myers, leading the global fund formation and secondary practice. He is based in Hong Kong.
  • Scott Peterman joins Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe as M&A Partner and Private Equity. He joins from Jones Day.
  • Michael Chin joins Simmons & Simmons as Partner in the firm’s corporate and commercial practice. He joins from Hogan Lovells.


  • Scott Burton joins Deustche Bank as APAC Head of Financial Crime. He joins from JP Morgan.
  • Paul de Ruiter joins Experian as Head of Compliance. Paul joins from a FinTech start-up and prior to that was Compliance Director for PayPal.
  • Ed Man was appointed APAC Head of Assurance and Oversight for Fidelity International. He was previously the APAC Lead Auditor for the Asset Manager.
  • Anatoly Kirievsky joins Optiver Asia Pacific as Head of Compliance. He was previously Australia Head of Compliance for Bank of America Merrill Lynch based out of Sydney,
  • Richard Moore joins Scotiabank as APAC Head of AML. He joins from DBS where he was Managing Director, Head of Financial Crime & Chief Security Officer.
  • Ivan Chan joins UBP as Financial Crime Compliance Officer. He joins from PricewaterhouseCoopers.
  • Mabel Ma re-joins UBS as APAC Head of Financial Crime. She joins from Deutsche Bank where she was Managing Director, Head of Anti Financial Crime Asia Pacific. She is replaced by Manson Garrick who joins from JP Morgan, where he was Managing Director, Global Compliance Operations.

Key APAC HR appointments:

  • Rob Mom is appointed Head of HR, Corporate and Institutional Banking, APAC at ABN AMRO, he was previously Chief HR, Greater China & Regional HR Head of International Clients, Asia.
  • Wijnand van Hoeven was appointed as the ABN AMRO Head of HR, Corporate & Institutional Banking, Greater China.
  • Ivory Cai joins Adidas as APAC Director of HR. She was previously at Apple where she was Head of HR.
  • Maylie Lee joins AIA as Chief HR Officer. She was previously at Marsh where she was Head of HR, Greater China.
  • Angelena Cala joins Bloomberg as an HR Business Partner. She was previously at Deutsche Bank where she was Regional HR Business Partner for Global Transaction Banking, APAC.
  • Vandna Ramchandani is appointed Asia Head of Talent at Bloomberg. She was previously their Head of Philanthropy & Engagement, Asia Pacific.
  • Caroline Flatley joins Fujitsu as Head of HR, Oceania. She was previously at HP Inc. where she was Head of HR, Asia Pacific & Japan.
  • Julia Simpson has taken up an additional role as Regional HR Business Manager at JPMorgan. Her role as Head of HR for Hong Kong & Regional Head of HR for CIB and Corporate Infrastructure Groups remains.
  • Elaine Lye joins Julius Baer as Head of HR, Singapore. She joined from Standard Chartered where she was Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist, Wholesale Bank.
  • Ann Ann Low joins LinkedIn as Director, Learning & Development, Asia Pacific. She was previously at Cisco where she was Regional Head, Learning & Development Solutions Group.
  • Madeleine Price joins Manulife as Regional Head of Talent, Succession Planning and Inclusion. She was previously Managing Director at Talking Talent in Hong Kong.
  • Michelle Lacey joins MUFG Securities as Interim Head of Asia HR and Corporate Communications. Michelle was previous Head of HR, Hong Kong & Regional HR Lead of Change & Delivery at RBS in Hong Kong.
  • Magdalen Tsang is promoted to Head of Asia Pacific Human Resources at Natixis. She was previously Deputy Head of Asia Pacific Human Resources.
  • Annabelle Larue joins Rabobank as HRBP, Australia & New Zealand. She was previously at FTI Consulting where she was HRBP.
  • Karen Lim joins Schneider Electric in Singapore as Country Director, HR. She was previously at SAP where she was Regional Head of Commercial Sales Operations, Asia Pacific & Japan.
  • Daniel Tam is promoted Head of HR, Singapore at Schroders. He was previously Regional HR Business Partner.
  • Senthil Kumar is appointed Head of Global People Service, China at Standard Chartered Global Business Services in Tianjin. He was previously the bank’s Regional Head of HR Operation, Greater China.
  • Laura Cole joins Standard Chartered in Singapore as Head of HR Transformation. She was previously at BT where she was Head of HR Services, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa.
  • Ellen Wu is appointed Head of HR, Retail Banking, China at Standard Chartered. She was Head of Learning, Global Functions at Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore.
  • Debbie Mannas joins Sun Life Financial as Head of OD and Talent for Asia.
  • Anu Ambikaipalan was promoted Senior Employment Counsel, Asia Pacific at Uber.
  • Damian Reid is appointed as the UBS Senior HR Business Partner & Regional Lead, Corporate Centre, APAC.
  • Sherlina Chew joins Visa in Singapore as Regional HR Business Partner. She was previously Head of HR for GoSwiff.
  • Dominic White joins Zurich as Regional Head of HR. He was previously Asia Head of HR for Generali.

Key APAC CIO & COO appointments:

  • Theo Nassiokas joins Barclays as Director, APAC Cyber Security. He joins from Standard Chartered Bank where he was Head of TIS, TechOps & EUS.
  • Dirk Engeler is appointed CBA Head of Cyber Security Services, International. He was previously CBA’s General Manager Cyber Security Services, APAC.
  • Olivier Crispin joins CIMB as Chief Fintech Officer based in Kuala Lumpur. He relocates from Singapore where he was Group Head of Digital Banking for DBS Bank. Sandeel Lal will replace Olivier, he was previously Regional Head of eBusiness for the Singaporean Bank.
  • Albert Kwok joins DBS as Deputy Chief Information Security Officer. He joins from Société Générale where he was Regional Information Security & Fraud Manager.
  • Arun Vasudevan joins GIC as SVP, Enterprise Strategy from Goldman Sachs where he was Executive Director, Operations Change Management.
  • Daniel Tse joins GIC as Head of IT & Cyber Risk. He joins from UBS where he was the APAC Head of IT Risk.
  • Choy Peng Wu joins GIC as CTO. Choy Peng was formerly the CTO for SingTel.
  • John Teer was appointed COO for KPMG’s Asia-Pacific Region. He was previously Partner, Financial Services, Sector Leader – Wealth Management. John will be succeeded by Paul Howes was previously head of KPMG’s superannuation practice.
  • Stephen Barnham joins MetLife as Chief Information Officer Asia. He was previously Group Information Officer for Financial Markets for Standard Chartered Bank.
  • Celine Ang joins Munich Re Speciality Group as Asia Head of Operations, from Euler Hermes where she was CEO ASEAN.
  • Rob Scott was appointed Head of Global Operation for Nikko Asset Management. He was previously Head of International Operations and Asia ex-Japan Head of Operations and Technology.
  • Gabriel Lo joins Standard Chartered as Hong Kong Head of Digital Usage and Experience. Gabriel joins from PayPal where he was Head of Integration, Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan.
  • Pedro Sousa Cardoso joins Standard Chartered as Global Head Digital Commerce. He joins from Emirates NBD where he was SVP, Head of Multichannel, CRM and Digital Transformation.
  • Cat Ruest joins UBS as Greater China Head of Innovative Technologies. She joins from EXICON, where she was the Founder & Chief Operating Officer.
  • Les Vance takes on the role of Operating Officer for Westpac’s Consumer Bank. Les joins from BT Financial group, where he was CRO.

Key APAC Finance appointments:

  • Cameron Poulton joins ANZ as Business Manager/COO – Markets Balance Sheet Trading and Regulatory in Singapore. He was previously Head of Financial Planning & Analysis – EMEA Institutional at BlackRock in London.
  • Rob Jesudason moves internally within Commonwealth Bank Australia becoming Group Executive, Financial Services and Group CFO. He was previously the Group Executive for International Financial Services based in Hong Kong.
  • Rockson Leung was appointed as Hong Kong CFO for Manulife reporting to Nigel Ke, Interim Chief Financial Officer for Manulife Asia, and Guy Mills, CEO for Manulife Hong Kong.
  • Wildrik de Blank leaves his role as Group Head of Treasury at Noble Group, the Singaporean-listed Commodities Trader.
  • Michael Ford joins QBE Group as Group CFO. He joins from Commonwealth Bank where he was Deputy CFO. With Michael’s appointment, Pat Regan will relinquish his group CFO responsibilities and step down from the board to focus on his permanent role as CEO, Australian & New Zealand Operations.

Key APAC Corporate & Transaction Banking appointments:

  • Karin Kersten joins ABN AMRO from ING to be their new global head of trade and commodities finance.
  • Patrick Chen has joined ANZ as Head of the China desk in Hong Kong. He joins from HSBC where he was leading the corporates team in Hong Kong.
  • Patrick Tan joins Bank ABC as the new Head of Asia for Wholesale, Treasury and Markets. He joins from Credit Agricole where he was Head of Corporate Coverage.
  • Jamie Gleeson joins BNY Mellon as EMEA Head of Relationship Management for the Alternative Investment Service. He joins from State Street where he was held a similar position.
  • Peter Salvage also joins BNY Mellon in a newly created role of Global Head of Hedge Fund Services. He joins from SS&C hedge fund services.
  • Rohan Singh joins BNY Mellon as APAC Head of Asset Servicing, having previously been at Northern Trust as Country Head Singapore & South East Asia. Subject to regulatory approval, Northern Trist have appointed Yet Leng Ong as Rohan’s replacement.
  • Amit Dhawan moves internally within Citi to become APAC Head of SME business, having previously been Head of Commercial Lending Management for Asia. Alongside Amit, Rodney Lee has been named Head of Commercial Banking Digitalization for Asia.
  • Matthew Bax joins Citi as Head of Sales for Custody and Fund Services. He was previously European Head of Global Custody at JPMorgan.
  • Munir Nanji, the Citi veteran banker, has been appointed Global Subsidiaries Group Head for Asia Pacific. Munir’s previous role in Citi was APAC Sales and Marketing Head for TTS.
  • Manish Kohli has also moved internally within Citi, from his role as Group Head of Commercial Cards, to become Global Head of the Payments and Receivables business.
  • Stella Choe has been named the new head of corporate banking for Australia and New Zealand at Citi. She has been at Citi for over 3 years and was previously heading up their in-country FI business.
  • Gulru Atak has been appointed by Citi as the Head of Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) Dublin Lab and Innovation where she will be responsible for leading and growing the innovation programme.
  • Craig Hudleston is appointed APAC Head of Asset Services for CBRE. He was previously Chief Operating Officer for CBRE Japan and will relocate to Hong Kong later this year.
  • William Li was appointed by Crédit Agricole as Executive Director, Head of Trading, Global Markets Division.
  • Jennifer Cheung joins DBS as an Executive Director for HK Conglomerates and Large Local Corporates business. She joins from HSBC’s China banking team.
  • Mark Troutman joins DBS as Group Head of Sales for Global Transaction Services. Mark was previously Global Head of Corporate Sales for HSBC’s Global Liquidity and Cash Management business and was replaced internally by Lance Kawaguchi.
  • Abdul Raof Latiff has joined DBS as Head of Digital for Wholesale and Institutional Banking, joining from HSBC where he was previously Head of GLCM Product. Raof was replaced internally by Lewis Sun, who was leading HSBC’s GLCM business in China with Patrick Zhu also being promoted to take over the role Lewis vacated.
  • Thomas Nielsen joins Deustche Bank as Chief Digital Officer for the global transaction banking division. He joins from Tesco, where he was in charge the corporation’s digital product strategy across a wide portfolio of platforms, websites, and apps, including Clubcard, Tesco’s loyalty programme.
  • Colin Fung has been appointed by HSBC to be the regional sector Head for Capital Goods and Automotives within its GLCM business. Colin was previously team lead for the MNC sales team for Hong Kong.
  • Alan Turner joins HSBC in Singapore as Head of Commercial Banking. Alan joins from Barclays where he worked within the corporate banking business. He replaces Steven Cranwell, who has been appointed head of commercial banking for Mena and Turkey.
  • Jennifer Doherty has become HSBC’s new Head of Innovation for Asia within its GLCM business. Jennifer relocates from London where she was leading the liquidity and investment products team globally.
  • Mike Hughes joins JPMorgan to lead its global custody business. He joins from Deutsche Bank, where he was leading strategic execution for securities services.
  • Shivkumar Seerapu joins Lloyds Banking Group in a new role at the bank, to lead the Global Transaction Banking business in Asia. He joins from Deutsche Bank where he was most recently the APAC Head of Trade Finance and was replaced internally by Atul Jain who was previously the regional COO for transaction banking.
  • Sanjiv Vohra joins MUFG as co-head of corporate banking, joining from Deutsche where he was head of the regional corporate banking business.
  • Shaun Flavin has moved internally within Northern Trust to head up head of North American institutional sales.
  • Nigel Colgan joins Northern Trust as Senior EMEA Technology Sales Consultant within the Institutional Sales Team. He has moved from BNY Mellon where he was responsible for regional product strategies.
  • Hong Paterson joins RBC Investor & Treasury Services as Singapore Country Head and Global Client Coverage Director and Treasury Services. He joins from JPMorgan where he was Executive Director – Asia Pacific Head of Custody Cash and Liquidity.
  • Ying Ying Tan joins Standard Chartered within its Securities Services business, working for Margaret Harwood-Jones. Ying Ying previously ran Deutsche Bank’s regional securities services business. Anand Rengarajan has been appointed as the internal replacement for Ying Ying at Deutsche.
  • David Koh joins Standard Chartered as the Regional Head, Transaction Banking, Greater China and North Asia. He joins from Westpac where he ran their Regional Corporate Banking Business. As a result, Ananth Ramachandran has been internally appointed by Westpac as the new Head of Corporate and Institutional Banking.
  • Clare Francis also joins Standard Chartered as the European Head of Global Banking, which encompasses Corporate and FI Banking. She was previously Head of Global Corporates at Lloyds Banking Group.
  • Adeline de Metz and Raphael Barisaac have been appointed by UniCredit as the new Global co-heads of Trade Finance. They succeed Luca Corsini, who has been appointed Global Transaction Banking co-head alongside Jan Kupfer.
  • Mark Law joins fund administrator Sanne Group to lead its APAC business. Mark joins from Deutsche Bank where he was managing the custody and fund administration business for the APAC region.
  • Chang-Po Yang has come out of retirement to take a new role at Standard Chartered as Vice-Chairman of their Corporate and Institutional Banking (CIB) for Greater China and North Asia. Chang-Po was previously at Goldman Sachs before retiring.
  • Ryan Cuthbertson joins Standard Chartered to head up the product management team for the custody and clearing business. He joins from HSBC.
  • Sameer Sehgal joins Traydstream as CEO. He was previously Citi’s EMEA Head of Trade.
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