Citi has announced that Lawrence Komo, Asia-Pacific securities finance head for Citi Global Transaction Services, has been elected as the new chairman of the Pan Asian Securities Lending Association (Pasla).

In what is an annual post elected each year, Komo will lead the organisation comprising of major broker dealers and prime brokers, which actively works with Asian securities regulators, stock exchanges, and monetary authorities.

As chairman of Pasla Komo is responsible for representing the common interests of institutions engaged in the lending or borrowing of securities in the Asia-Pacific and international securities lending markets, the bank says.

He will also represent the industry in the efficient and competitive development of these markets and the establishment of global securities lending standards in the region. In addition, he will regularly liaise with regulators and continue developing and maintain standardised legal agreements for use in the securities lending industry.

Long-term prospects for financing products across Asia are in sight, Komo says, thanks to rising growth in the capital markets as a percentage of GDP.

ôTraditionally, the most established markets are Japan, Australia and Hong Kong, but recently we have seen tremendous growth in other markets, such as Taiwan, Korea, and we have high expectations for India and China,ö says Komo.

The initial Korean centralised lending model for example, was not initially attractive to international investors, but over time it has evolved to become a very deep and active securities lending market for borrowers and lenders, Komo says.

"The pace of change and international alignment for each of these markets that have since followed, such as Taiwan, have been much quicker. Malaysia is also expected in the second quarter to introduce a bilateral OTC component into its existing centralised programme to attract more international liquidity,ö he adds.

Based in Singapore, Komo is responsible for CitiÆs securities finance business regionally, a post which he has held since 2006. Prior to this he was an executive director with UOB Group in Singapore, responsible for asset management sales.

He worked previously for Citi in Hong Kong where he was head of equity finance for Citi Global Markets. He has also headed up equity finance desks in Tokyo and Hong Kong for Daiwa Securities, Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs.