Sources at NM Rothschild in London have confirmed that the firm's head of Asian investment banking, Gregory Shenkman, is to return to London in March next year.

Shenkman has been with Rothschild in Hong Kong since March 2000 and his contract was for four years. He will return to the bank's London headquarters to fill an undisclosed position. Shenkman joined Rothschild in Hong Kong from Dresdner Kleinwort Benson where he ran the Benelux coverage team.

During his time in Asia, Shenkman has presided over a bank that has made an art of sticking to the skills of giving corporate advice. It has been involved in transformational transactions, such as the IPOs of Bank Mandiri, M1 and Maxis (though its ECM joint venture with ABN AMRO). It is also well thought of within Hong Kong government circles. Chris Brookes, the bank's leading transport banker has been advising the government on the merger of MTRC and KCRC as well as the IPO of the Airport Authority. The bank's telecoms team is also highly regarded in North Asia.

It is understood that leading investment bankers at other firms in Hong Kong have been contacted by head hunters retained to find a suitable replacement for Shenkman. The source at Rothschild in London also confirms that the bank is "actively seeking a replacement."

Most comment over heard in the Mandarin Grill has been on the reputed housing allowance that goes with the job, which at HK$330,000 a month is reckoned to the biggest in the region. For those who are interested, this allowance buys you neighbours such as Richard Li of PCCW and Richard Gnodde, head of Goldman Sachs Asia.