First State adds to distribution team

First State Investments has made a number of senior appointments in the firm’s distribution team, designed to support ongoing growth within the EMEA business.

Chris Gower was appointed to the newly created role of head of EMEA consultant relationships. Gower joined First State from HSBC Global Asset Management, where he was the head of European consultant relations. Gower will play an important role in growing First State’s franchise and bringing greater coordination and structure to First State’s dealings with consultants across the region. Gower will report to Kanesh Lakhani, head of distribution for EMEA and global consultant relationships.
Alex Mackenzie Smith, who had been working for First State in a consulting capacity, has been appointed to the newly created position of business development director, Europe. Mackenzie-Smith will be responsible for developing new client relationships in Europe.
Andrew Ward who has been with First State for over a year has been appointed to the newly created position of distribution manager also reporting to Lakhani. Ward will be responsible for coordinating First State’s client engagement across the wholesale and institutional markets.
In addition to these appointments, First State plans to open an office in Dubai in 2014. Ali Karmali has been appointed head of Middle East and Africa and will relocate from London to Dubai. First State currently has several client relationships in the Middle East across a range of asset classes including Asia Pacific/global emerging market equity, Australian equities and direct infrastructure. 
Lakhani says: “Over the past few years we have enjoyed significant growth in our EMEA business. With this expansion and also our growth plans, we felt that it was the right time to expand the team to ensure that we are appropriately servicing our existing clients whilst actively pursuing new opportunities.”

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