News has emerged that John Mullins, ING's head of Asian securitization, has left the bank to set up a new Asian securitization group at Royal Bank of Scotland in Tokyo. Mullins had been in charge of ING's Asian securitization business since 1999 after joining the firm from Daiwa Securities.

When Mullins joined ING he brought with him a team of seven from Daiwa and there is speculation that he wants them to join him at RBS as he seeks to build a regional ABS franchise from scratch. It has been rumoured that most of the team offered their resignations to follow their boss to pastures new, but remain where they are for the time being while ING tries to convince them to stay.

ING has a strict 'no comment' policy when it comes to people leaving the firm, but says it is still committed to the Asian securitization business. Having arranged several cross-border deals out of Korea in the past couple of years, the bank is currently believed to be working on a residential mortgage-backed deal with a Taiwanese bank and is reportedly seeking opportunities in Malaysia.

In terms of a successor to Mullins, that could depend on whether he is successful in enticing his team to RBS. An obvious replacement would be Richard Lamb, director of the Asian securitization group, and largely responsible (along with Kevin Lam, who holds the same position) for getting business outside Japan. But Lamb, who jumped ship from Daiwa to join ING at the same time as Mullins, relocated late last year from Hong Kong to join his boss in Tokyo. Reports suggest he will follow Mullins to RBS.

Meanwhile, ING Structured Finance yesterday announced the appointment of Geff Parsons as director and head of financial engineering for Asia. He will be based in Hong Kong and report to Basheer Buhari, head of Asian structured finance, and Steven Ng, ING's global head of financial engineering.

Parsons joins the bank after seven years with ABN Amro, where he also held the post of financial engineering head. Prior to that he had worked for Asian Capital Markets and KPMG.