Religare poaches equity strategist from Morgan Stanley

Jason Todd will join the Indian investment bank and securities firm in Hong Kong as global head of equity strategy.

Religare Capital Markets continues to beef up its resources in the region with the hire last week of Jason Todd as global head of equity strategy. Todd joins from Morgan Stanley in New York where he was a US and global equity strategist. He will move to Hong Kong for his new role.

Religare Capital, which is part of India’s Religare Enterprises, a financial services group promoted by Ranbaxy founders Malvinder and Shivinder Singh, has been hiring aggressively this year with the aim of creating an investment banking and institutional securities business focused on global emerging markets. And this latest hire shows that it has the ability to attract talent from competitors not just in Asia, but from outside the region as well.

Todd has more than 15 years of experience in global strategy. The first 12 of those years he spent with J.P. Morgan, initially as an Australian and New Zealand equity and quantitative strategist based in his native New Zealand, and from 2003 as a member of the pan-Asian equity sales desk in London. In 2005 he moved to New York to head up J.P. Morgan’s US and global strategy teams and in November 2007 he joined Morgan Stanley.

Religare Capital’s global head of equities, Nick Holtby, said the hire of Todd comes after a careful search for the right candidate and added that his sophisticated analysis of the macroeconomic and fundamental drivers of emerging market equities will be “a considerable asset” to the team and to the firm’s institutional clients.

As part of its ambition to become a regional business with a presence in key Asian markets, Religare Capital announced in June that it had agreed to acquire Central Joint Enterprise (CJE), an Asian equities franchise headquartered in Hong Kong that trades under the name of Aviate Global (Asia). Set up in 2008 by Credit Suisse veteran Jonty Edgar, CJE focuses on differentiated, ideas-led trading strategies and has long-standing relationships with the buy-side.

The acquisition, which is still awaiting regulatory approval, will form the core of Religare Capital’s business in Hong Kong, adding 30 professionals to its team in Asia and significantly boosting its coverage of equities across China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

The firm has also made a string of senior management hires over the past nine months, following Martin Newson’s appointment as global CEO in late 2009. Newson joined from Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein and has previously also worked with Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs among others.

In March, the firm hired Sutha Kandiah as global head of equity capital markets based in Singapore and Rob Flynn as CEO for Asia, both from UBS, and two months later Tarun Kataria came on board from HSBC as CEO of Religare Capital Markets India. Earlier this month the firm also poached Nalin Nayyar from Citi to become head investment banking for India.

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