Yvonne Wong, the doyenne of the local prime broking capital introductions scene, has left Merrill Lynch. She is believed to have been the longest-tenured capital introductions expert in Asia.

Following a spell on maternity leave, she has announced her departure. When she returns to the grindstone in August, it will not be in the world of prime brokerage. She has told AsianInvestor that she will be starting a new senior job in the Hong Kong hedge-fund world in August, but it will not be in the field of service provision.

She had joined Merrill Lynch in 2005 as head of the capital introductions group in Pacific Rim, and last year took on responsibility for consulting services. Prior to Merrill Lynch, she was head of prime brokerage sales for Asia ex-Japan at Morgan Stanley from 2001 to 2005 and also had a spell at Goldman Sachs Prime Brokerage.

Merrill Lynch has said that Martin Visairas will manage all capital introductions tasks for the time being, while the question of a successor is discussed. Visairas, who has the rank of director, joined the Hong Kong prime broking operation from MerrillÆs London office approximately one year ago.

After management changes earlier this year, Brian Canniffe and Eddie Guillemette are now the co-heads of the Merrill Lynch prime brokerage business in Asia. Canniffe heads trading and risk-related matters, and Eddie Guillemette is responsible for sales, capital introduction and consulting services in the region.