Broker-dealer Oppenheimer Investments Asia announced yesterday it had hired a new chief executive in the form of Robin Green from collapsed brokerage MF Global.

Green has also been handed the title of president. Based in Hong Kong, he is tasked with leading the firm’s expansion in Asia, which will include hiring additional equity and fixed income staff, as well as further supporting its investment banking team in Beijing.

Green's hire comes after the resignation of Asia CEO Steve Bernstein, who left last December after two years with the firm. He, too, had been brought in to expand the regional business.

“The impression I got about the business [Oppenheimer Investments Asia] is that it didn't have the commitment to Asia in terms of resources, and that may be one reason why Bernstein quit,” suggests a source familiar with the firm.

The source added that Oppenheimer Asia had brought in an executive from the firm’s US office in the interim to run Asia following Bernstein’s departure.

But in the statement announcing Green’s hire, Albert Lowenthal, chairman of parent Oppenheimer Holdings, says: “We consider Asia an important and valuable part of Oppenheimer’s growing global business and we recognise the enormous potential of the region.”

Green is described as a Scottish chartered accountant with 25 years’ experience in institutional equities, 17 of which have been in Asia.

He was formerly head of Asian institutional equity sales at MF Global Hong Kong, and has also worked as chief executive of ITG Hong Kong.

MF Global filed for bankruptcy last October having been heavily exposed to European debt. A criminal investigation has since been launched into its collapse and the alleged disappearance of about $1 billion in customer money.

Oppenheimer Investments Asia is a division of investment bank Oppenheimer & Co. It provides wealth management, securities brokerage and investment banking services to high-net-worth individuals, families, local governments and institutions.

A spokesperson from Oppenheimer Investments Asia did not respond to AsianInvestor queries by press time.