If the career movements of top analysts is anything to go by, it would seem that Asia is back in fashion once again.
Following Timothy Moe's decision to come back to Asia with Goldman Sachs, Adrian Faure has also decided that the world's best growth story is once again Asia.
Faure will return to Asia from New York to be ING's regional head of non-Japan Asian equity research. Currently on holiday, he will start in August. But says Peter Johnson, ING's head of international equities in Hong Kong: "This is another example of a high quality individual relocating from the US - where markets remain depressed - to Asia where markets have strengthened considerably and prospects look brighter."
For Faure it will be a double homecoming. He ran Barings top-ranked Hong Kong and China equity research team in the early 90s. It hardly needs saying that ING only dropped the name Barings a few weeks ago, and that he will be returning to a familiar environment.
He had left Barings for Merrill Lynch in 1994 and later relocated to New York to run Latin American research. He and his team achieved top rankings from Institutional Investor in its annual poll. He then became co-head of emerging markets research.
He will leave Merrill after eight years. His timing cannot be entirely coincidental. Merrill's New York equity research department has obviously had a less than happy time of late, dealing with Eliot Spitzer and paying a fine of $100 million.
Asia looks a much happier place, in comparison. Indeed, how times change. Who would have predicted back in 1998 that four years later the US would be going through three corporate governance scandals and a loss of investor confidence, while the Jakarta stock market would be up 50% in the first half, and one of the most successful equity offerings of the year would come from Malaysia (Maxis)?
It will be interesting to see whether this flow of talent back to Asia is also a leading indicator of flows of money.