Based in Hong Kong, Jacobelli will be responsible for overall co-ordination and direction of regional utilities research for the Asia Pacific region, including direct coverage of the Hong Kong utility companies.

Jacobelli has over 13 years experience covering the utilities sector and was most recently head of regional utilities Research at SG Securities in Hong Kong. Prior to this, he held similar roles at HSBC Securities and ING Barings, both in Hong Kong.

"In a world where utilities are an essential part of any investment portfolio, Joseph's wealth of experience will add significantly to our prominent energy team," says Michelle Ring, Merrill's deputy head of Asia Pacific research.