Bear Stearns has appointed Masakazu (Max) Kobayashi as head of fixed income sales and strategic finance in the Tokyo office. Kobayashi has also been named vice-chairman of Bears Stearns Japan and will serve on the Tokyo management committee. In his new role, Kobayashi will be responsible for fixed income sales and strategic finance in Japan.

Kobayashi comes from Merrill Lynch where he was a managing director of the global Japan client group, focusing on fixed income structured products. Before joining Merrill in 1999, he was president of Lazard asset management Japan and a management committee member.

In a press release, several of Kobayashi's new colleagues commented on the new hiring.

"We continue to see a real opportunity to develop our fixed income business in Japan and Max's addition is an important step in that direction," says Lenny Feder, branch manager in the Tokyo office. "Over his career, Max has developed and maintained important client relationships that will be integral for the growth of our business moving forward."

Michel Peretie, chairman of Bear, Stearns International and head of fixed income for Europe and Asia, adds, "Max's experience, client relationships and knowledge of the fixed income marketplace will be a great asset in developing our important and growing Japanese franchise."