Weekly roundup of people news, Aug 23

JP Morgan hires UBS executive, Mizuho names fixed income head, Threadneedle bolsters business development, Deutsche appoints EM equity head and Sarasin taps MD.
Weekly roundup of people news, Aug 23

UBS exec joins JP Morgan prime brokerage unit
JP Morgan has named Chris Barber managing director and head of prime brokerage account management for Asia Pacific.

Barber joins the bank’s Hong Kong branch, where he will oversee the regional team and provide day-to-day coverage for JP Morgan’s prime brokerage clients. It’s a newly created role, says a spokesman.

Before joining JP Morgan, Barber held the same title at UBS in Hong Kong from 2006-2013, having previously been an executive director in the Swiss bank’s investment banking division from 2001-2006 in London. Prior to UBS, he was a vice-president at Morgan Stanley’s investment banking arm in London.

The appointment comes just three months after JP Morgan hired David Leahy from Credit Suisse to lead the firm’s Asian sales efforts, and is part of the firm’s initiatives to roll out a dedicated Asia prime brokerage unit in the coming months.

A JP Morgan spokesman declined to comment on the platform, or offer details of how many people work under Barber.

Steve Drakeford replaced Barber at UBS as regional head of prime client services for Asia Pacific in early July, a UBS spokesman says.

Drakeford has been with UBS since 2001, initially in Australia in its operations division, where he helped to build out its Australian prime brokerage group. He moved over to the bank’s account management division in 2003, and managed the team from 2006-2008.

Drakeford has worked in Singapore since 2008, but will relocate to Hong Kong in the coming months, the spokesman says. He reports to Tim Wannenmacher, head of prime services for Asia Pacific, and Katryna Lee, global head of prime client services.

Mizuho hires head of fixed income trading
Mizuho Securities Asia has named Damian Rowe managing director and head of fixed income trading for Asia Pacific ex-Japan. Based in Hong Kong, he reports to Hideyuki Kawashima, president and CEO.

Rowe replaces Jeffrey Yap, a spokeswoman says. Yap left Mizuho Securities in July reportedly to launch a credit hedge fund in Hong Kong called Ark One, according to his LinkedIn profile and other media reports. The spokeswoman declined to comment and Yap could not be reached.

Rowe was previously head of credit trading across Asia ex-Japan at Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong from June 2010. Credit Agricole says it has identified a replacement, although a company spokeswoman declined to offer details.

Prior to Credit Agricole, Rowe held senior credit trading roles at Citigroup in Hong Kong and ABN Amro in Australia.

Mizuho Securities Asia, a subsidiary of the securities arm of Mizuho Financial Group, offers underwriting, sales and trading services to regional central banks, banks, municipalities, hedge funds, asset managers and insurance companies.

Threadneedle hires JP Morgan sales director
Fund house Threadneedle Investments has hired Mark Chan as a director in Hong Kong.

Chan will focus on securing new business with institutional clients in China, Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan, as well as maintaining the firm’s existing client-base.

He reports to June Wong, vice-chairman of Asia Pacific and CEO of Hong Kong.

Threadneedle has 40 staff across its Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan offices, with approximately half in sales and marketing, four on its investment and fund management team covering Asian equities and fixed income, and the remainder working in HR, IT and operations.

Threadneedle’s global AUM stood at $126.6 billion as of June 30. The firm does not break out regional assets.

Chan previously spent five years as vice-president of Greater China sales at JP Morgan Asset Management in Hong Kong. A spokesman declined to comment on whether Chan has been replaced.

Before JP Morgan AM, Chan was a relationship manager at Allianz Global Investors in Hong Kong. He also held similar roles at Charles Schwab and H&R Block Financial Advisors.

Deutsche names head of EM equities
Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management has hired Sean Taylor as head of emerging market equities.

 Sean Taylor

A newly created position, Taylor (pictured) works in London and reports to Randy Brown and Asoka Woehrmann, co-chief investment officers.


Taylor stems from Pioneer Investments, where he was head of global emerging market equity from 2011 until April this year. He was previously a managing director at investment manager GAM, where he oversaw global emerging markets and frontier market strategies from 2004-2011. Before GAM, he spent seven years at Société Générale Asset Management, where he ran the emerging markets desk. He was eventually promoted to head of global equity at Société Générale AM.

Pioneer Investments did not have a response by press time as to whether Taylor has been replaced.

New headhunting firm launches in HK
John Byrne, formerly of London-based head-hunting firm Wheat, has branched out to form his own executive search firm, Custodian Group.

Based in Hong Kong, the Custodian Group will focus on recruiting banking executives in custody, asset servicing, prime brokerage, trading and treasury services. Two more researchers are set to join the firm later in August, it is understood.

Byrne, who has been a headhunter for 15 years, helped establish Wheat’s Hong Kong office six years ago. During his time at Wheat, he specialised in custody and investment services searches.

Byrne says there are only a few executive search firms in Asia dedicated to custodian and asset services.

Custodian Group will focus on sourcing talent locally as well as the UK and Europe, with Byrne noting that the “talent pool within Asia [for asset services] remains fairly shallow, especially at the senior end”.

Sarasin names new managing director
Bank Sarasin has appointed Jeffrey Benjamin as managing director in its client advisory business.

Based in Singapore, Benjamin reports to Eric Morin, chief executive officer of Singapore and Southeast Asia. In his newly created position, he will work with and advise institutional clients as well as ultra-high-net-worth individuals, a spokeswoman says.

Benjamin joins the Swiss bank from HSBC Private Bank, where he was a managing director and team head of the international private wealth arm from early 2011 in Singapore. He previously worked at Investec Bank in London from 1999-2010, focused on structured solutions across asset classes for ultra-high-net-worth clients.

An HSBC spokesman declined to comment on whether Benjamin’s role has been filled.

Advisory firm hires suite of executives
London advisory firm StormHarbour has made a slew of appointments in Singapore as the firm seeks to expand its presence in the region.

Sandeep Gill, Barry Dick, Martin Otway and Nicholas Loh have all joined the firm from OPVS Group, an Asia-Pacific alternative asset management firm that is in the process of closing down, a StormHarbour spokeswoman says. She declined to comment further. Calls to OPVS Group went unanswered.

Gill and Dick, co-founders of OPVS Group in 2008, both join StormHarbour as principal and managing director, while Otway and Loh, who also held senior roles at OPVS Group, join StormHarbour as directors. All four will help spearhead business development in the region.

The new additions in Singapore bring the total headcount to 11, with 16 in Hong Kong. In the region, it offers brokerage and advisory services.

Law firm adds partner in Tokyo
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe has made Edward Johnson a partner in its M&A and private equity practice in Tokyo.

Johnson previously spent 19 years at Paul Hastings, where he served as a managing partner, also in Tokyo.

Johnson has worked with clients across a variety of sectors, including telecommunications and media, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, manufacturing, power, retail, hotels and real estate, finance and education.

He advised private equity firm Warburg Pincus on the sale of its interest in Nikko Asset Management to Sumitomo Trust and Banking, and has also worked on deals with the Walt Disney Company and Wal-Mart Stores.

Other moves reported in AsianInvestor this week:

HSBC Private Bank building investment strategy team

RBC hires Asian equities head from JP Morgan AM

East Capital shuts Shanghai office, moves staff to HK

BNY Mellon names new Korea IM chief

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