Sources at Merrill Lynch have confirmed that the bank has made a major new hire in Korea. The bank has poached Sung Eun Ahn from Deutsche Bank to be its new head of investment banking. Coming with Ahn will be DH Lee who was also at Deutsche.

Ahn will be a managing director of the firm and will head up a revitalized investment banking division on the ground in Korea, an area that was missing from Merrill's high octane investment banking performance in the rest of the region this year. Ahn had been with Deutsche as head of investment banking in Korea for two years, having joined that firm from Salomon Smith Barney in 2002.

Ahn and Lee will report to KL Wong, Merrill's Hong Kong based head of Asia Pacific investment banking, and to HH Choi, country head and head of global markets in Korea. Merrill divides its businesses along the lines of global markets and banking and both sides have been making a large number of new hires this year. On the global markets side, Osman Semerci who runs the region has made 16 new hires this year alone. Damian Chunilal the regional head of investment banking has also made a similar number of new hires.

The sources at Merrill would not confirm exactly when Ahn and Lee officially start, although sources at Deutsche Bank confirmed that Ahn had already left.