In his new role, Merla will be responsible for developing and growing the firm’s wholesale client business franchise across southern Europe, including Italy and Spain.
Based in Milan, he will report to Thorsten Michalik, global head of wholesale and partnerships at HSBC AM, who joined from DWS in February 2020.
Merla spent 15 years at Lyxor, most recently as managing director and head of business development for Italy.
He left in May, just one month after Amundi acquired the French asset manager from Société Générale for €825m.
Prior to this, he was a portfolio manager at Pioneer Alternative Investments and Banca del Gottardo in Switzerland, starting in 1999 with Merrill Lynch in London.
Commenting on the appointment, Matteo Pardi, CEO of HSBC Asset Management in France, said: “Our business in southern Europe continues to be a focus for us and we are seeing a growing interest from investors in this region for sustainable investing opportunities and for exposure to emerging markets and Asia.
“Alex’s appointment will enhance our growth plans here and continue to support investors with products to realise their investment objectives.”
This new addition to HSBC AM’s team follows adds to its campaign of new hires so far this year, including the appointment of Tom Banks as UK ETF business development director from JP Morgan Asset Management in June, Bhaven Patel as global head of ETF capital markets in April, ETF Stream revealed, and Dominic Clabby as head of ETF strategy from Invesco in March.