Franklin Templeton announces senior distribution team appointments for Asia Pacific

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Franklin Templeton is pleased to announce the appointment of Vivek Kudva as the new Head of Asia Pacific (APAC), including India, reporting to the newly announced Head of Global Advisory Services, Adam Spector.

In his new role, Kudva will be responsible for leading the firm’s retail and institutional distribution across the region and continue to be based in Mumbai. Kudva’s appointment is effective at the completion of Franklin Templeton’s acquisition of Legg Mason, which is expected on 31 July 2020.

Kudva brings over three decades of industry experience and expertise in asset management and banking. Prior to taking up this role, he held a similar leadership position as Head of EMEA and India, also based in Mumbai.

Jenny Johnson, President and CEO of Franklin Templeton,said, “The acquisition of Legg Mason will establish Franklin Templeton as one of the world’s largest independent asset managers, with a newly combined AUM that will be over USD$164 billion in the APAC region, after deal close. I would like to congratulate Vivek Kudva on his new role to lead the team in delivering a range of truly diversified global investment strategies through an expansive distribution organisation with global reach and scale. Vivek’s strengths as a leader and depth of experience in various international markets position him ideally to lead our newly combined business in the APAC region.”

In addition, Kudva announced the following senior leadership team with expanded responsibilities in the combined organisation within the APAC region. All new appointments will be effective at the close of the acquisition:

  • Matthew Harrison will continue in his role as Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Linda Liang will take up a new role as Head of China Strategy, overseeing the business of our wholly foreign owned enterprise (WFOE) in China as well as our joint venture company, Franklin Templeton Sealand Fund Management Co. Ltd.
  • Isabella Chan will be appointed as 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 in his role as the 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 in his role 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 South East Asia region (ex-Malaysia and Vietnam) with additional responsibility for Asia Institutional Client Services.
  • Richard Surrency, Head of Alternatives Sales, Asia, will continue in his role, focusing on growing the firm’s alternative business in the region.

Kudva commented, “I am delighted to be taking up my new role as Head of APAC for Franklin Templeton. Post the Legg Mason deal close, the combined entity will be well positioned to capitalise on the diverse growth opportunities that exist across the region. Our clients will benefit from the added capabilities across multiple world-class specialist investment organisations, and I look forward to working with my experienced leadership team to continue to deliver the exemplary service our clients expect from us.”

“The combination of our two distribution platforms will enhance organic growth in the region as we expand our presence in key markets such as Japan and Australia. In addition, we see tremendous growth potential in China as the country continues to further liberalise and open up its market,” added Kudva.

Following long and distinguished careers at Franklin Templeton, 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 organisation. Browning, Chang and Sowerby will be staying on for a transitional period after the acquisition.

“We would like to thank Mark Browning, David Chang and Andy Sowerby for their dedicated service and invaluable contribution in building a strong franchise for Franklin Templeton and Legg Mason in the region,” said Johnson. “Moving forward, I am confident that our combined regional footprint led by Vivek will create a distribution powerhouse in the region, while significantly deepening our presence in key focus countries.”

The landmark acquisition of Legg Mason will establish Franklin Templeton as one of the world’s largest independent asset managers and will add differentiated capabilities to Franklin Templeton’s existing investment strategies, with modest overlap across multiple world-class specialist investment managers and distribution channels. The combined firm, with USD$1.4 trillion in assets under management, will bring added leadership and strength in core fixed income, active equities and alternatives—as well as an expansion of multi-asset solutions capabilities, a key growth area for the firm amid increasing client demand for comprehensive, outcome-oriented investment solutions.

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