Deutsche Bank has promoted two executives to its direct securities services unit in Asia-Pacific, where it has been ramping up with a focus on India and Indonesia while eyeing future prospects in China.

Mrugank Paranjape has been appointed Asia-Pacific head of Deutsche’s direct securities services, in charge of the bank’s strategy and growth in the areas of sub-custody, clearing and fund administration across the region.

He replaces Thibaud de Maintenant, who recently relocated to Europe from Singapore to take on the role of global head of domestic markets, direct securities services.

Meanwhile, Joseph Barnes takes on the newly created role of Asia-Pacific head of direct securities services sales and relationship management. He relocated to Singapore two weeks ago from London, where he was based for four years as head of global head of sales and origination for the direct securities services business. “Given the headwinds in the markets, there are huge aspirations to grow, particularly in Asia-Pacific,” says Barnes.

Paranjape’s relocation to Singapore last month from Mumbai, where he headed Deutsche’s domestic custody services for South Asia and Southeast Asia, underlines the bank’s emphasis on India and Indonesia, where its direct securities services business has gained a sizable number of mandates, claims Barnes. “They’re big markets for us today.”

Deutsche’s move to beef up direct securities services in the region follows its 2009 acquisition of Dresdner Bank’s global agency securities lending business from Commerzbank. It has since been leveraging its securities lending activities in Europe and the US to expand into Asia, with a focus on emerging markets.

Its Asian securities lending business has attracted central banks and sovereign wealth funds, says Barnes, who declined to say if they were based in the region. “We think there’s a tremendous opportunity for us [in Asia] because we’re a third-party agency securities lending provider and that differentiates us from other players in the marketplace."

The mainland, meanwhile, represents a potential greenfield for the bank’s securities services business, which is eyeing prospects in the qualified domestic institutional investor (QDII) market, notes Barnes.  

“We believe we’re well positioned to offer sub-custody services for QDII investment out of the [China] market,” once regulators open the sector to overseas service providers, he says.

Deutsche also anticipates that China will eventually enable foreign banks to provide securities lending under the QDII scheme. “That doesn’t exist yet, but China’s a long-term play for us,” says Barnes.