A senior figure in Bruce Murphy’s distribution team at Macquarie Funds Management has jumped ship, joining a global asset manager that will shortly launch a new suite of retail funds.

Geoffrey Pidgeon, formerly national account manager at Macquarie, has joined HSBC as head of wholesale wealth management, reporting to Charles Genocchio, head of global investments. 

HSBC is due to roll out a retail offering for the adviser, platform and retail market, including its own financial planners, within the next month or so.

The group distributes four different firms under HSBC – HSBC Global Asset Management, which includes global asset manager Halbis and quant specialist Sinopia; hedge fund of fund group HAIL; infrastructure arm HSBC Special Investments; and private equity and real estate arm HSBC Principal Investments.

Genocchio said Pidgeon would build an in-house team to support the adviser market as HSBC prepares to launch three funds by year-end, with a focus on emerging markets Asian equity and alternatives.

“The big bent for us is emerging markets Asia,” Genocchio said. “That’s where we have the most areas of expertise, we have people in every market and they are the type of products we’re going to be bringing out in the near future.”

Genocchio said Pidgeon brought with him strong experience in the retail space, having spent five years at Macquarie, most recently as “head of retail investments”.

Prior to that, Pidgeon worked at both AXA and Rothschild, back in the days when Rothschild “ran the retail side of the business in

Australia”,
Genocchio said. 

“Geoff was the first hire in preparation
[for the retail launch], we’ve been working for a year to get all these things
ready to go and we’re quite close to pulling the trigger,” he said.

He was not concerned about the timing of
the launch, which comes in the midst of a financial crisis that has seen the
decimation of the retail market as investors ran for cover.

“It’s the first phase of a relatively long
and defined strategy,” Genocchio said.

“At the end of the day… there’s a lot of
commitment from
Hong Kong and locally, and
it’s not something that’s going to change depending on what’s happening in the
market. We can refine where we’re going to be able to get our funds but we’re
not going to change the actual strategy and that is that we think HSBC is a
really good brand, and I think it’s probably stronger now given the turmoil
than previously.”

As a cost-saving measure, Macquarie Funds
Management will absorb Pidgeon’s responsibilities for now, rather than replace
him, a
Macquarie spokesperson said.

Domestically and internationally, there
remains 23 distribution staff in Murphy’s team,
the spokesperson added.

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