Japan-based Nikko Asset Management has appointed Blair Pickerell as head of Asia and global chief marketing officer.

Pickerell will be based in Hong Kong, where the group has established a representative office and intends to soon acquire a full fund management license.

Pickerell will be primarily responsible to further expand the firm’s distribution and fund management capabilities throughout Asia.

Most recently Pickerell was with Morgan Stanley Investment Management as CEO of Asia. Prior to this he served as chief executive for Asia Pacific at HSBC Asset Management and as chairman of Jardine Fleming Unit Trusts.

“I’m very pleased to be joining Nikko Asset Management. The favorable demographics, continued deregulation, and ongoing economic success of Asia suggest that this region will be one of the leading generators of wealth in the coming decades,” Pickerell said.