KUALA LUMPUR: Franklin Templeton Investments today announced the appointment of Avinash Satwalekar as country head of Malaysia and chief executive officer (CEO) of Franklin Templeton Asset Management (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd.
In a statement, Franklin Templeton said Avinash has relocated to Kuala Lumpur from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to take responsibility for leading the firm’s retail and institutional distribution efforts across Malaysia, and will now report to Adam Quaife, regional head for Southeast Asia.
He replaces Sandeep Singh who has moved to Dubai to take on the position of senior director and regional head, Central Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA).
In addition to his new role, Avinash will continue his involvement with the company’s business in Vietnam by serving as Chairman of the Board for Vietcombank Fund Management (VCBF), a joint venture between Franklin Templeton and Vietcombank in Vietnam.
Avinash was previously the CEO and chief investment officer for VCBF based in Ho Chi Minh City, and oversaw the combined business and investment activities of the group.
Under his leadership, Franklin Templeton said it was one of the first asset managers to launch an open-ended retail fund in Vietnam.
Avinash had served as the lead portfolio manager for the two funds domiciled in Vietnam since their respective inceptions in 2013 and 2014.
Avinash has over 20 years of experience at Franklin Templeton.
Prior to his role in Vietnam, he was a portfolio manager and research analyst for Franklin Equity Group, based at the firm’s headquarters in San Mateo, California.
He was a member of the portfolio management team for the Franklin Small Cap Growth strategy and a lead manager for private small cap accounts.
“Avinash is an experienced client-centric leader with a strong track record both in business development and in investment management.
“He brings valuable experience gained in roles across Franklin Templeton, both in the US and in Asia.
“Avinash is well placed to manage our existing Malaysia business and to leverage the firm’s global offerings to serve clients across multiple distribution channels,” Quaife said.
Franklin Templeton Asia managing director Mark Browning said with its expanding middle class, healthy growth rates in unit trust penetration, as well as an established infrastructure for Islamic finance, Malaysia is a critical part of the group’s growth strategy in Asia.
“I am confident that with his background and expertise, Avinash will build on the momentum of this vibrant market and harness growth opportunities for our clients and distributors,” he said.