Richards will concentrate mainly on fixed income markets, an area in which he worked in his previous job as principal at Penta Investment Advisors. Before that, Richards spent seven years in Tokyo as managing director at Credit Suisse First Boston.

Richards began his career as an economist and then a government bond trader at Continental Illinois National Bank. He then became one of the first floor traders in the financial futures pit of the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) and later headed the global futures and options business at Merrill Lynch. In the 1970s he taught economics at the University of Hawaii, during which time he advised the Philippines government on the development of their metal fabricating industry.

Commenting on the appointment, Jeff Deck, president and CEO Japan says: "We are delighted to welcome aboard someone of John's capability and experience, and we look forward to the contribution he will make in further strengthening our operations in Tokyo."