… and Ryan-Kane departs

Peter Ryan-Kane, the high-profile Australian head of ‘portfolio advisory’ for Willis Towers Watson, based in Hong Kong, has left the firm and is considering either setting up his own shop or joining another asset consultancy.

Ryan-Kane said he wanted to remain in Hong Kong, where he has been for about 15 years, including since 2009 at Willis Towers Watson (WTW).

According to ‘Asian Investor’ publication, in his role, Ryan-Kane has advised numerous institutional investors in Asian emerging markets over the years on issues ranging from asset allocation to portfolio mandates to strategic plans.

“For instance, he worked closely with Thailand’s Government Pension Fund on developing its overseas investment program,” the publication said last week.

“Other asset owners he has worked with include the Singapore Institute of Technology, Singapore’s Central Provident Fund, Hong Kong conglomerate Jardine Matheson and the Timor-Leste Petroleum Fund. He said he had secured clients in Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Timor-Leste during his time at WTW.

“Ryan-Kane sits on WTW’s global investment committee and chairs the Asia portfolio construction group. He has some 25 years of experience in financial markets as an adviser, investor, borrower and risk manager.”

Ryan-Kane said last week that there was a big need for retirement advice in Asia. “There are a lot of ways that consultants can be useful in Asia. There are countries where the investment industry almost doesn’t exist.”

WTW is, according to Asian Investor, narrowing its focus in Asia and pulling back from marketing to the smaller Asian markets.

Meanwhile, WTW has recruited Leslie Mao to take a role as head of Australian equities research. Mao, who has over 14 years’ investment industry experience, moved to Sydney in 2015, having worked in Willis Towers Watson’s Shanghai office for about nine years, leading the company’s investment business in mainland China.

As reported last week, Ben Griffiths, the former head of Aussie equities, is joining T-Corp to concentrate on international equities oversight.

The other three consultants in WTW’s Aussie equities team are: Michael Slaven, Jessica Melville and Sheela Veerappan.