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Franklin Templeton names new Asia Pacific head
Firm reshuffles senior distribution team in region as acquisition of Legg Mason nears completion
28 Jul 2020 | The Asset

Franklin Templeton has named Vivek Kudva its new head for Asia Pacific, including India, as it reorganized its senior distribution team in the region amid the impending completion of its acquisition of Legg Mason.

Kudva, who will continue to be based in Mumbai, will lead the company’s retail and institutional distribution across the region. His appointment is effective upon the completion of the Legg Mason acquisition, which is expected on July 31 2020.  He will report to the new head of global advisory services, Adam Spector.

Kudva has over three decades of industry experience in asset management and banking. Prior to taking up his new role, he was head of Europe, the Middle East and Africa as well as India.

“The acquisition of Legg Mason will establish Franklin Templeton as one of the world’s largest independent asset managers, with a newly combined [asset under management] that will be over US$164 billion in the APAC region, after deal close,” president and CEO Jenny Johnson said in a statement.

Kudva, meanwhile, announced senior leadership team appointments with expanded responsibilities in the region.  Matthew Harrison will continue in his role as managing director for Australia and New Zealand. Linda Liang will take up a new role as head of China strategy, overseeing the business of the wholly foreign owned enterprise (WFOE) in China as well as the joint venture company Franklin Templeton Sealand Fund Management Co. Ltd.

Isabella Chan is appointed head of Hong Kong, with additional responsibility for the Taiwan business. Shannon Wang will continue as general manager of Legg Mason Investments (Taiwan) Limited and report to Chan.

For India, Sanjay Sapre will continue  as president of Franklin Templeton Asset Management (India) Private Limited. In Japan, Suguru Kuwahata, currently president of Legg Mason Asset Management (Japan) Co. Ltd., and Tatsuya Oguchi, currently president of Franklin Templeton Investments Japan Ltd., will both report to Kudva and continue to develop the Japan business. For Korea, Yong-bae Jeon will continue as president.

Avinash Satwalekar will take up an expanded role as country head of Malaysia with additional responsibility for the oversight of Asia Marketing (ex-Japan and India). He will also continue to serve as chairman of the board for Vietcombank Fund Management (VCBF), a joint venture in Vietnam with Vietcombank.

Dora Seow will take up an expanded role as country head of Singapore and the broader Southeast Asia region (ex-Malaysia and Vietnam) with additional responsibility for Asia institutional client services. Richard Surrency will remain as head of alternatives sales, Asia, focussing on growing the firm’s alternative business in the region.

Meanwhile, Mark Browning, managing director for Asia Pacific, and David Chang, regional head for Greater China, will both depart the firm. Andy Sowerby, currently CEO of Australia & New Zealand and head of Asia Pacific (ex-Japan) for Legg Mason, has decided to leave the organization. They will be staying on for a transitional period after the acquisition. 

Franklin Templeton says the acquisition of Legg Mason will establish the company as one of the world’s largest independent asset managers with about US$1.4 trillion in assets under management. The company announced in February that it was acquiring Legg Mason for US$50 per share of common stock in an all-cash transaction, while assuming approximately US$2 billion of Legg Mason’s outstanding debt.