Macquarie's regional equities franchise has received a huge boost following its announcement that Simon Wood has joined the Australian firm's Hong Kong office. Moving from ABN AMRO to a newly created role at Macquarie, Wood takes on the title of a managing director and will be expected to drive the regional financial institutions group (FIG).

Wood will focus his attention on developing the FIG business across the ten markets in which Macquarie has a regional presence, leveraging off its established FIG franchise in Australia and New Zealand.

At ABN, Wood was head of FIG for Asia, and prior to the recent corporate restructuring had been promoted to the role of head of M&A. Prior to his ABN sojourn, Wood spent over seven years at Fox-Pitt, Kelton (FPK) in both Hong Kong and London.

He joined ABN from the US-based bank in September 2004 and while at FPK he held the titles of director, corporate finance and head of equity capital markets.

"In the last 12 months, Macquarie has begun to establish a track record in the FIG sector in Asia," says Andrew Low, head of corporate finance. "We've assisted in important and complex M&A and capital raising transactions for companies such as Banco de Oro and Axa Asia-Pacific. Simon's excellent track record as a specialist in the sector and his relationships with leading financial institutions in the region will enable us to grow the business further."