BlackRock has hired Scott Greenberg from Morgan Stanley as its first head of global capital markets for Asia-Pacific as part of its drive to build out its regional trading offering.

Greenberg started in the role on April 15 based in Hong Kong, reporting to Steve Sterling, head of global capital markets, and Marc Desmidt, Asia-Pacific head of alpha strategies.

Working with BlackRock’s internal team of portfolio managers and externally with partners such as banks and brokers, Greenberg will look to develop primary equity and debt investment opportunities for clients, in a kind of mirror role of an ECM or DCM banker at an investment bank.

These will include pre-initial public offerings, IPO cornerstones, convertible bonds and other equity-linked investments, as well as event-driven bridge financings and special situations financing.

Essentially, Greenberg will be one of the calls a bank makes when seeking support for an IPO or bond issue, which he will report to BlackRock’s investments team (rather than directly to clients).

BlackRock notes that Greenberg is the first hire in Asia-Pacific out of a global capital markets team of less than 20, which until now was operating only in New York and London. A spokesman notes it’s too early to talk about any plans to build a bigger team in Asia.

While BlackRock was keen to emphasise that its newly created capital markets group in Asia is targeted solely at clients, the development indicates the US fund house is eyeing direct access to the region’s primary equity and bond markets.

It comes at a time when market liquidity has reduced significantly due to the tighter regulatory environment on investment banks, such as the Volker rule, which bans proprietary trading.

In an open letter, the $3.8 trillion fund house has previously attacked investment banks over their IPO fee structures as well as unrealistic valuations on companies that they advise so as to win their business.

In a statement announcing Greenberg’s hire in Asia, Sterling says: “The growing importance of Asia-Pacific’s developing capital markets as an issuance centre is increasingly providing attractive investments.

“This new role will actively enhance investment performance by maximising the deployment of investment capital, thereby supporting our growing investment franchise in Asia-Pacific.”

Most recently Greenberg was chief operating officer for equity financing products at Morgan Stanley in New York. Prior to that, he worked in debt and equity capital markets for the investment banking division of Morgan Stanley.

Last week, BlackRock announced the appointment of Susan Chan as a successor to Joe Cavatoni as Asia-Pacific head of iShares capital markets based in Hong Kong, effective from mid-July this year, to develop and maintain liquidity within the firm's ETF range.

She too had a banking background, having previously been Deutsche Bank’s Asia-Pacific head of equity structuring group and DBx, its exchange-traded funds subsidiary.