HSBC builds out prime services, equities

The bank poaches from rivals to strengthen its nascent prime broking franchise and its regional equities team.
HSBC builds out prime services, equities

HSBC has made three senior hires to its burgeoning Asia-Pacific prime services unit, including veterans from prime brokerage rivals Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan.

Jean-Paul Linschoten and Adrian Harrison have been named as directors in prime services sales, based in Hong Kong and reporting to Matt Kiraly, Asia-Pacific head of prime services sales.

Linschoten moves from UBS in New York. Before joining the Swiss bank in 2011, he spent a decade at JP Morgan in the US and Hong Kong, where he oversaw global delta one marketing, structuring and business development.

Harrison, meanwhile was previously head of investor relations at Keywise Capital Management, a Greater China-focused hedge fund firm. He was also formerly an executive director for China business development at Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

David Streatfield joins as a director in equity finance, delta one sales in Hong Kong. A 10-year veteran of Deutsche Bank, he was a director in delta one, synthetics, swaps and stock lending sales, spending the past three years in Hong Kong after transferring from London. Streatfield, who has also worked at Goldman Sachs and hedge fund giant Citadel, reports to Adam York, head of equity finance and delta one sales for Asia-Pacific.

The recent hires bring HSBC’s regional prime services team to about 40 people. “If I look across my team, we’ve got a very good mix of experience from all the major prime brokers,” says Melvyn Ford, who took on the role of Asia head of prime services in May.

The bank has also made seven appointments to its Asia-Pacific equities team. They include Tim Franks as head of hedge fund sales in Hong Kong. He had held similar roles at Bank of China International and Citi. Franks reports to Brad Schwartz, Hong Kong head of equity sales.

Other new hires in HSBC’s Asia-Pacific equities unit include directors for equity sales and equity sales trading. The bank has been building up its equity sales and trading resources, which will be supported by the growth of its prime services offering.

HSBC is a relative newcomer to prime broking, having launched in London in early 2011 and going live with its first Asian hedge fund client in July last year. The bank aims to serve hedge funds through a platform that leverages its dominance in funds custody and administration in Asia to gain clients. 

The next step for HSBC’s prime services unit is to grow its business in the US, where the platform went live over the summer. Four people were recently hired to cover client service, sales and equity finance for US clients focusing on emerging markets – particularly Asia and Latin America. 

“The prime services build-out in the US is going to be about growing our synthetic platform,” says Ford. It will be geared towards providing US-based hedge funds with the capability to trade in Asia and other emerging markets through equity derivatives, such as swaps.   

“If you look at other prime brokers in the market, a significant portion of their revenues are generated from clients whose headquarters are outside of Asia, so obviously we’re very cognisant of that,” adds Ford. “We will definitely continue to build out the US.”

HSBC is not alone in trying to gain a foothold in the crowded prime services industry in Asia. In June, RBS hired David Gray from UBS to spearhead the UK bank's own push in this area, and JP Morgan has been working on expanding into the business.

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