Last night, at AsianInvestor's annual Service Provider Awards dinner, Deutsche Bank was named best prime broker.
Other awards were also announced during the black-tie event at the JW Marriott hotel in Hong Kong, which featured an after-dinner address by Peter Swarbreck, head of Asia-Pacific business at BlackRock.
Chong Jin-Leow of BNY Mellon was named custodian banker of the year, Matt Saul of Fidelity Investments scooped the best buy-side trader prize and George Molina of Franklin Templeton was honoured as most innovative buy-side trader. We also named the top salespeople in prime broking, which handed another hat-trick to Deutsche Bank.
Best prime broker: Deutsche Bank
In prime broking, Deutsche Bank was one of the principal winners in a flight to quality from hedge funds during 2008. It now commands a market share in the region of 20%, which has catapulted the German firm into the bulge bracket of prime brokers.
Locally, it operates prime finance desks in Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo, and is continuing its personnel expansion, with staffing levels up 25% since 2007.
Harvey Twomey is head of Deutsche Bank's prime brokerage institutional client group for Asia-Pacific, with responsibility for the sales, capital introduction and relationship management functions.
Custodian banker of the year: Chong Jin-Leow, BNY Mellon
Under Chong's stewardship, BNY Mellon Asset Servicing has become a force to be reckoned with in Asia, explains Edward Russell, reporter at AsianInvestor. Assets under custody have grown by as much as 25% annually over the past five years, and the bank is beefing up headcount and expanding its physical presence, especially in Australia, China, India, Japan and South Korea.
This expansion follows the provider's many asset-servicing mandate wins. This year alone, Chong has leveraged BNY Mellon's strong financial position to secure over $19 billion in new custody mandates in China and a sole global custody provider mandate from South Korea's Korea Life Insurance.
Best buy-side trader: Matt Saul, Fidelity
AsianInvestor named Matt Saul of Fidelity International as the best buy-side trader in Asia. Saul recently took over the regional trading effort from Mark Northwood, who had returned to his native UK. He oversees possibly the region's largest buy-side trading floor, with 14 traders covering specialised markets by geography, sector, trading style and portfolio-manager servicing.
This year Fidelity has made a new emphasis on sector trading in the region's bigger markets. This remains a work in progress, but has won plaudits both internally among portfolio managers and analysts, as well as externally from the Street, whose brokers can readily identify whom to contact on the Fidelity desk for specific deals.
Meanwhile the firm continues to invest in electronic trading and connectivity to alternative trading venues, not just through its proprietary systems, but also via third-party platforms.
Most innovative buy-side trader: George Molina, Franklin Templeton
George Molina of Franklin Templeton was named the most innovative buy-side trader. He has been the most public figure from the buy-side in this region, exhorting the buy-side to improve its IT and connectivity and to take advantage of new trading platforms.
His work both at Franklin Templeton and industry bodies such as Fix has been to promote electronic trading, commission-sharing agreements and other tools to bring down trading costs, which ultimately benefits the retail investors and pension account holders who use mutual funds.
Best prime brokers (individuals)
Deutsche Bank swept the three individual awards in prime broking, with Marlin Naidoo named best capital introductions specialist, Sukru Kesebi best prime broking consultant and Chris Pagan best salesperson.