Bank of America Merrill Lynch has re-hired Ryan Holsheimer from Goldman Sachs in a newly expanded role as head of Asia-Pacific equity execution services, based in Hong Kong.

AsianInvestor understands that Holsheimer’s resignation as head of Asian execution services at Goldman came yesterday morning. He is on gardening leave and is expected to start at BoA Merrill in three months’ time.

Holsheimer’s hire is significant because it represents an increased focus by BoA Merrill on being able to commit capital to client transactions and, among other things, to be a significant player in block trading, says a source.

“He [Holsheimer] has long experience in his role at Goldman Sachs at being a key client-facing person in the negotiation of significant risk transactions,” the source notes.

“The perception of Merrill Lynch in the market historically is of being a pure agency firm in the equities space, and that if you wanted a large capital commitment you went to some other firm. BoA Merrill clearly aspires not just to the agency aspects of the business, but also to be a significant provider of risk capital to the client base.”

BoA Merrill’s former head of sales trading in the region was Andy Maynard, although he left the firm earlier this year. In Holsheimer the bank has revisited the mandate to put all aspects of a product that a client would want to execute in equities under the leadership of one individual.

His role will encompass traditional shares trading and program trading sales but also – in combination with head of Asia-Pacific equity sales Richard Boseley – flow derivatives and futures. He will have responsibility over Asia-Pacific execution teams as well as the client-facing aspects of negotiating risk transactions.

Further, he and Boseley will co-manage a newly formed Integrated Coverage and Execution team to bring the firm’s equity products and research to its client base. The team (envisioned as five-strong) will look to deliver both research content and execution to clients who would prefer to deal with a single person.

Holsheimer will report to Gene Reilly, head of Asia-Pacific equity trading and execution. He joins from Goldman Sachs, where he has spent the past 10 years. He previously worked for Bank of America Merrill Lynch from 1996 to 2001 in Sydney, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

BoA Merrill has over 500 front-office equities staff in the region, plus a further 300 in research. Of these, some 175 work in execution services.

It has been expanding its equities platform in recent months, with the transfer of Andy Hunter from London to Tokyo as head of Japan equity; Joe Lee, previously co-head of research at Goldman Sachs, as head of tactical sales and corporate access for the Asia-Pacific region; and Philip Duffy, previously at RBS, as head of Asia-Pacific futures clearing and over-the-counter derivatives clearing.

Last June the bank hired Peter MacDonald as vice-chairman of Asia-Pacific, based in Hong Kong. He had resigned after 17 years with Goldman Sachs. Reilly himself was formerly with Goldman, too.