People: AllianceBernstein hires for China; Pantheon, Forchn set up Japan, HK offices

Akitoshi Yamada, managing director of the Tokyo office of Pantheon.

Investment manager AllianceBernstein has appointed new leaders to its China team. Meanwhile, PE firm Pantheon and investment holding company Forchn Holdings have set up new offices in Japan and Hong Kong respectively.

AllianceBernstein picks new CEO and CIO for China

Investment manager AllianceBernstein, which is backed by French insurer Axa Financial, has named Alex Qian as the CEO for China to lead its onshore business.

Qian will be based in Shanghai and will report to Ajai Kaul, regional CEO for Asia Pacific ex Japan at AllianceBernstein.

Meanwhile, Liang Zhu, working as part of the firm’s Asian equity portfolio management team in Hong Kong, has now been appointed chief investment officer in China.

“While we have been investors in China from the outset and have managed mandates for Chinese institutions, the decision to build a Private Fund Management (PFM) presence underlines of our long-term commitment to this important market,” said Kaul.

PE firm Pantheon opens Japan office 

Global investment firm Pantheon Group has opened its seventh international office in Japan.

Pantheon Japan managing director Akitoshi Yamada will lead the Tokyo office.

Yamada joins Pantheon from Nippon Life and will work alongside Ryo Okazaki, who joined Pantheon from Mitsubishi Corporation Asset Management as vice president in its client service team, and Makiko Hagiwara, the compliance officer and office manager for Tokyo.

“We are humbled to have been chosen by our Japanese clients to manage their private asset programs and look forward to furthering long and prosperous relationships with them,” said Pantheon managing partner Paul Ward.

Pantheon offers primary, secondary and co-investment strategies across private equity, infrastructure and real assets.

With offices in New York, San Francisco, London, Hong Kong, Seoul and Bogotá, Pantheon has assets under management of about $38.8 billion.

Shanghai-based Forchn Holdings sets up Hong Kong branch

Investment holding company Forchn Holdings has set up a new office in Hong Kong.

The firm said that a presence in one of the leading financial centres in the world would give it easier access to the capital markets.

“Plans for the Hong Kong office include setting up private equity funds and launching our offshore asset management business. It is a very exciting time for us,” said Forchn Holdings chairman Zhang Guobiao.

Forchn Holdings CFO Zhang Xincheng will be the chairman of the new entity, Forchn International, in Hong Kong.

With major operations in Hangzhou, China, Forchn Holdings’ portfolio spans Chinese e-commerce logistics services and warehousing, e-commerce real estate, health & wellness, manufacturing and financial service industries.

It owns brands such as the Fuchun Golf Resort in Hangzhou and cutlery brand Zhang Xiao Quan. Forchn is also a founding shareholder of Alibaba’s China Smart Logistic Network, also known as Cai Niao Network, and Ruyicang E-commerce Logistics Service.

Forchn is also eyeing expansion in Southeast Asia led by its Singapore office. In partnership with YCH from Singapore, it has launched a $150-million Forchn-YCH Belt Road Initiative (BRI) Logistics Asset Private Equity Fund, which will be marketed in the second half of 2018.

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