Dutch financial group ING has poached another member of CLSA's equity team with the hire of Daren Riley to be head of Asian hedge fund sales, based in Hong Kong. Riley, who officially joined the bank at the end of last week spent eight yeas with CLSA as head of Asian equity sales.

Riley's hire is the third equity hire that ING has made from CLSA in recent months after Jenkin Leung joined as head of Hong Kong sales and Nora Hou joined as a banking analyst. The move is also significant as ING is further boosting its hedge fund servicing team and comes after last month's hire of Donald Klip as a hedge fund sales manager.

Riley - a colourful character known for his love of music and clubbing - is to some extent coming back to the fold as he started life with Barings Securities as the head of Asian sales in London. He has also worked as head of Asian sales for Nomura in London.

Officials at ING point out that they believe they can make the secondary equity business work in Asia while so many others have failed. Key to their reasoning is that the bank does not have any US equity business, which looks like a liability in these litigious times. As a result, investors seem to be diverting more brokerage commissions ING's way. Moreover, the firm is at great pains to stress the independence of its research, which again is winning it more commissions on the brokerage side.

"We are using the current market sentiment to pick up talent," confirms ING spokesman, Sheel Kohli.