In another sign of CSFB's renaissance under Asian boss Paul Calello, the bank has hired one of Morgan Stanley's most senior bankers and an acknowledged China hand.

Carlos Oyarbide will touch down in Asia in June as a managing director and head of FIG (financial institutions group). Oyarbide's FIG role will include Australia, although he will be based in Hong Kong. Michael Tan will report to him and continue to head FIG for non-Japan, non-Australia Asia.

Oyarbide was one of the three most senior bankers at Morgan Stanley in arguably one of its most successful periods in Asia between 1999 and 2001. He ran corporate finance and did the restructuring and execution work on the $5.65 billion IPO of China Unicom (a deal that matches all the issuance in non-Japan, non-Australia Asia so far this year) and the $3.5 billion IPO for Sinopec. He also worked on the demutualization and merger of the Hong Kong Futures Exchange withe the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.

A former McKinsey man, Oyarbide had returned to Europe with Morgan Stanley and had first ran European corporate finance before being given charge of all of Morgan's Spanish operations. However, the execution specialist is thought to have longed to return to the Asia-Pacific. He spoke to two of his ex-colleagues now at CSFB, Wei Christianson (CSFB's China MD) and Rick Scanlon (whom he worked with on Sinopec) about CSFB improving Asian franchise and then began talking to Eric Varvel, who heads investment banking in the region.

"Carlos has great relationships with the Chinese client base," Varvel told FinanceAsia. "He also has a broad experience in executing deals in a variety of industries including FIG. And when someone that skilled and talented comes along you have to find a way to bring them on board - notwithstanding our being quite aggressive on the MD headcount in the current climate."

This fits into CSFB' sectoral and country focus on both the FIG sector in general as well as improving its China business. CSFB has launched the CNOOC, COSL and Sinotrans IPOs and is currently mandated for its first China FIG deal, the $2.5 billion IPO for insurer, China Life.

"Carlos's experience on complex restructurings in China and equity placements makes a natural fit with the China Life deal," notes Varvel. "Our hiring him demonstrates our commitment to the FIG business and to China."

CSFB's FIG business is not the strongest in the region, although it has done deals for Bank Mandiri, and Fubon, but with the addition of Oyerbade it ought to move the business into a new gear. In Europe, Oyarbide worked on the $13.6 billion acquisition of Generale Bank by Fortis.