Martin Currie, the Edinburgh-based global equities manager, has confirmed it will open an Australian office following the recruitment of an experienced business and sales executive to spearhead the operation.

Kimon Kouryialas, until last Friday the joint-head of business for Legg Mason in Australia, will become country head for Martin Currie, initially from Melbourne. Martin Currie, a respected global equities manager with several regional and alternatives specialist strategies, has about $US27 billion under management. The firm dates back to 1881, but its current ownership structure, the majority of which is staff owned but with two external institutional shareholders, was announced last year to provide greater stability. Melbourne will be its fourth office, the others being London, New York, Shanghai and Edinburgh. Andy Sowerby, Martin Currie’s managing director of marketing, distribution and product management, said last night: “;We spoke to a number of high calibre candidates with regard to this role, however, we feel that Kimon’s track record speaks for itself … We are delighted to welcome him to the company as a primary stepping stone to our long-term ambitions in the market.”; Kouryialas said Martin Currie had an outstanding global reputation and the Australian market offered significant potential for committed equity managers with a good track record. Meanwhile, Legg Mason has appointed the other joint-head of business, Annalisa Clark, as acting head in Australia. She continues to report to Tom Hirschmann, head of international distribution, based in Baltimore. Legg Mason also announced yesterday the appointment of Beau Titchkosky, previously with Aviva, as an institutional relationship manager.

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