Continuing with its expansion plan across the Asian region, Standard Chartered has hired Johnathan Ward as head of Syndications for Middle East and South Asia. This appointment brings a great wealth of experience to the syndicated loan team as Ward has been involved in banking in the region for the best part of 20 years.

At his last employment he spent six years with Arab Banking Corp. Prior to that worked five years for ABC Investment & Services Co, the investment services arm of Arab Banking Corp.

He will be charged with developing the banks business in the region. Philip Cracknell, global head of Syndications, said "We see tremendous opportunity in these markets and I am confident that, with Jonathan's extensive experience in the loan syndications business, we are better positioned to harness these opportunities."

Standard Chartered has been steadily expanding its loan team for several years and the painstaking work is now bearing fruit. From a position of 12th in the 2000 Asia ex Japan tables, the firm has risen to third this year. Ward will report to Cracknell.