Bank of America Merrill Lynch has appointed Graham Seaton to the newly created role of head of Asia-Pacific prime brokerage, as part of its plan to expand the business in the region.

Seaton, who has been with BoA Merrill since 1999, is slated to transfer to Hong Kong in Q1, relocating from Sydney, where he has spent the past two years as the bank’s head of equity finance, overseeing the prime brokerage, stock lending and delta one units.

In his new role, Graham will be responsible for the client-facing aspect of the prime brokerage business, including sales, capital introductions, consulting and client service. He will report to Soofian Zuberi, head of Asia-Pacific global markets sales and structuring, and Brian Canniffe, head of Asia-Pacific financing and futures.

The role is understood to be one that will unite all the client-facing aspects of the prime brokerage business and will be an expanded remit to that of Dan McNicholas, who served as head of financing sales in Asia-Pacific until his departure from the bank in September last year.

Last March, BoA Merrill appointed Sam Tabar as head of capital introductions for Asia-Pacific in what was then a newly created role, later bringing onboard Jo Chan as vice-president of capital introductions, who joined from Axa’s fund of hedge funds business.

Both are based in Hong Kong and are part of a four-person capital introductions team in Asia. Further hires are understood to be in the pipeline.

The move comes as BoA Merrill axes as many as 15 managing directors from Asia (including Japan and Australia), more than half of whom were informed this week, as reported by our sister publication FinanceAsia. This is on top of departures earlier in the summer.

“The target is to reduce MD headcount by about 15 by the end of the first quarter compared with November last year. Some will be by natural attrition and some will be let go,” said a source.