Aviva Hires JPMorgan Southeast Asia Dealmaker Singh to Head M&A

  • Banker led dealmaking for financial firms in Southeast Asia
  • Singh to start as Aviva’s chief M&A officer on Sept. 26

Aviva Plc hired Chetan Singh, a managing director at JPMorgan Chase & Co., to head its mergers and acquisitions globally as the British insurer scouts for deals outside its home market.

Singh, who led dealmaking for financial institutions in Southeast Asia at JPMorgan, will join Aviva as chief M&A officer on Sept. 26 and report to Chief Financial Officer Tom Stoddard, the insurer said in an e-mailed response to Bloomberg queries. He will relocate to London from Singapore, a person with knowledge of the matter said earlier, asking not to be identified because the information wasn’t public.

Chief Executive Officer Mark Wilson has reshaped Aviva through asset sales and acquisitions since taking over in 2013. Aviva’s purchase of Friends Life Group Ltd. for more than $8 billion last year was the biggest U.K. insurance deal in 15 years. Wilson said in October the company is looking for smaller deals to expand in other countries outside its home market.

Singh follows at least three other Southeast Asia dealmakers who left JPMorgan this year as acquisition activity in the region slows. Fullerton Financial Holdings Pte, an arm of state investment company Temasek Holdings Pte, said in July it hired JPMorgan Singapore investment bank head Yeo Hong Ping. 

JPMorgan’s head of Malaysia investment banking, Didi Yahya, left the firm in May after more than two decades, while Southeast Asia corporate finance head Jerry Chua departed in March following a stint of more than 10 years, people with knowledge of the matter said earlier. Takeovers involving Southeast Asian companies have fallen to $47 billion this year, down from $72.9 billion during the same period last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

In 2010, JPMorgan hired Singh from Citigroup Inc. in London to head its financial institutions group in India. Li Anne Wong, a Singapore-based spokeswoman at JPMorgan, declined to comment.

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