by Baz Hiralal
Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc hired David Gray as head of prime services for Asia Pacific, a new role. Gray was with UBS since 1994 until he left in April 2011. He reports to Samir Atassi, head of market sales in Asia Pacific (ex-Japan) and to Fabian Shey, global head of prime services and client execution. Shey joined RBS in October from UBS.
Managing director and senior banker Thomas Mann is retiring from Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking. He was responsible for managing relationships with insurance companies, banks, asset managers, mutual funds and hedge funds in the Western Hemisphere. He will pursue part-time employment and other interests.
Mann joined SGCIB in 2005 as managing director and head of the financial institutions group. Prior to joining SocGen, he co-founded and was managing principal of Constellation Financial Management, an investment firm that created distribution financing and related risk management products and services for the mutual fund and insurance industries. CFM was acquired by SocGen in 2003 and rebranded as SG Constellation.
Neil Reiner is an executive vice president and product manager for credit alternative strategies. He was a managing director at Gottex Fund Management. Previously, he was a high-yield portfolio manager at Putnam Investments.
Executive vice president Molly Hall was with Canyon Capital Advisors in Los Angeles for nine years.
Executive vice president Jennifer Strickland was a managing director in investor relations at Blue Mountain Capital Management LLC in New York, a long/short credit manager. She also spent nine years as director of investor relations at HBK Capital Management, a multi-strategy hedge fund.
The California Public Employees' Retirement System appointed Ed Robertiello as senior portfolio manager of absolute return strategies. Most recently, he was the managing director of hedge funds in the New York office of Russell Investments. Earlier, Robertiello was a managing director in Credit Suisse Group's asset management business, responsible for the fund-of-hedge-fund business for the Americas.
Manulife Asset Management named Elka Leung as head of product development for Asia and Thomas Holman as senior portfolio manager on the U.S. small/mid cap growth team.
Based in Hong Kong, Leung joined from Barclays Global Investors. Holman, working from Boston, had been a portfolio manager with Lee Munder Capital Group since 2004.
American Equity Investment Life Holding Co. named John Matovina as president and CEO. As a result, Ted Johnson takes over as chief financial officer and treasurer. Matovina was interim CEO and president and has been vice chair since 2003. Johnson was previously vice president, controller.
Previous president and CEO Wendy Waugaman died of cancer on June 18. She was 51.
Arden Asset Management LLC's Allison Walker joined recruiting firm Korn/Ferry International as a senior client partner and head of its hedge fund practice. She was a managing director and chief administrative officer at Arden.
London's Herbert Smith and Australia's Freehills will combine, creating Herbert Smith Freehills. It will be a full equity combination, with a single profit pool. After regulatory approvals, the firm is expected to launch in October with 20 offices and 2,800 lawyers, including 460 partners. It will be led by co-CEOs David Willis and Gavin Bell, current managing partners of Herbert Smith and Freehills, respectively.
Herbert Smith is a commercial law firm with about 1,600 lawyers, with its strengths in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Partners and executives from both firms will form the management and governance bodies.
Pinsent Masons hired Bernd-Uwe Stucken and Liu Wei as partners from Salans, specializing in corporate, mergers and acquisitions and commercial work. They are in Shanghai.
Foley & Lardner LLP announced that David Klein joined the firm as a partner in its New York office, working with the information technology and outsourcing practice. Prior to Foley, Klein was a partner with Paul Hastings LLP.
Donald Mrozek was re-elected to serve a three-year term as chairman of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, a 500-attorney firm with 24 offices in 12 states. Mrozek has been chairman since 1989.
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP elected New York-based H. Oliver Smith and Kenneth Steinberg as partners of the firm, effective July 1. Smith is a member of the corporate department, concentrating on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and related matters. Steinberg counsels financial institutions and borrowers on credit transactions.
Clippings from the next column:
-- Waller Capital Partners LLC hires managing director Christine Frank from Compass Advisers.
-- Black Diamond Capital Management LLC taps Jean Fleischhacker as senior managing director, business development.
-- Phoenix Investment Adviser appoints Credit Suisse Group's Rachel Craft as vice president of business development and investor relations.
-- Morgan Stanley adds Robert Herz to its board of directors.
C. Allen Parker will succeed Evan Chesler as the presiding partner of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP at the end of the year.