Former Financial Planning Association chief executive, Jo-Anne Bloch is returning to Australia to head up Mercer’s recently-acquired Pillar Administration business.

US-based asset manager, American Century Investments, has opened its first Australian office in Sydney and appointed Michelle Kidd to the position of vice president, Institutional Advisory Group.

She would report to Elizabeth Trinh, American Century’s head of Australia and New Zealand, based in Hong Kong.

American Century, which is headquartered in Kansas City, said it had US$170 billion in assets under management as of 20 April and approximately A$2 billion in Australian funds under management, from both institutions and platforms.

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According to American Century’s chief client officer, Joe Schultz, the establishment of an Australian office was a part of the firm’s further expansion in key markets outside the US, making it the third office outside the country.

“Over the past decade, we’ve seen a strong level of interest in our investment capabilities and approach in the Australian market, which we have been servicing through a team based in Hong Kong,” he said.

“Our Global Growth Equity strategy is well received by current clients and prospects, and we see significant interest in our Global Small Cap and Emerging Market Equity strategies.”

Schultz said the company was also planning to introduce to the region its Emerging Market Debt and Global Fixed Income strategy in the coming year.

[“Source-moneymanagement”]