Merrill Lynch has announced the appointment of William Shek as head of Asian currency trading, a newly created post as Merrill seeks to increase its foreign-exchange trading activities across the globe.

In his new position, Shek - who formerly held the same role at Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong and previously held senior trading roles at Chase Manhattan Bank - will lead a Tokyo-based team of traders who specialize in the region's currencies.

The bank also announced the appointment of two New York-based executives in its forex trading operations. David Hoffman joins Merrill Lynch from Deutsche Bank as a director and forwards trader and has more than a decade of experience in trading futures, swaps, derivatives, options, FRAs and other foreign-exchange products.

Robert Bogucki comes in as director and foreign-exchange options trader, having previously worked for seven years in the Tokyo and London offices of Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.