There are more new prime-broking hires to report at UBS in Hong Kong, and they nearly finalise a revamp of that business in Asia.
The bank is duplicating its European model in Hong Kong, which has focused on large hedge funds and premium new launches. In doing so, it has moved away from its erstwhile tactic of also taking on board smaller start-ups.
Avijit Choudhury will join the desk as a director on the systems side. He used to work at Bloomberg and, before that, had a career in portfolio- and order-management systems. So he's the person to talk to about business and system architecture, best practice and which spanners and hammers are required to fix the spaghetti of wires in a hedge fund’s machine room.
Henri Arslanian has joined as an associate director in the same team to handle consultancy for structuring and regulation. He formerly worked at Timothy Loh Solicitors on structuring new hedge funds.
Ben Horner, who joined the UBS team recently in a senior PB sales role, has been made head of business consulting in Asia, with the notion that his experience at hedge funds Cranmore Capital and Elliott Advisers will be handy for clients.
All three report to Ashley Jarvis, Hong Kong-based global head of capital consulting for UBS. His title attests to something different within Asia, in that at UBS, capital introductions reports to him, as does the consultancy business.
At other prime brokerages in Hong Kong, capital introductions have traditionally been the glamour preserve of the more 'Hollywood' members of the sales team, such as Jim Fallon of Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Jeff Fisher, formerly at Citi but now at Fortress Investments. However, the main aim of UBS's consultancy business has been to create funds for clients that appeal for the number-one objective of raising capital. As a result, their consultancy and cap-intro teams are more closely integrated.
On the capital-introductions side, UBS has hired two investor-relations execs from a hedge fund and long-only asset manager, respectively. This is a shift in approach, looking for cap-intro staff from the buy side. Cheryl Lau arrived from Hillhouse Capital earlier this month, and another marketer will arrive in September.
On the sales side, David Forsyth has joined UBS’s Singapore office as a director reporting to Tamera Hodges. He formerly worked as a headhunter at Kerry Consulting, and before that was a prime-broking salesman at UBS in Australia. Hodges recently returned to Asia to co-ordinate sales efforts in the region and ensure they are consistent with those elsewhere in the world.