ABN AMRO's wholesale banking arm makes 50% of its global revenues from FIG (financial institutions group), and so you can imagine it is a plum job.

However, it has been vacant since November when Henry Tillman resigned from the position. Only five months earlier Tillman had told FinanceAsia that his decision to put Sam Zavatti in Hong Kong as global head of central banks, was a mark of ABN's commitment to Asia.

Five months is a long time in investment banking, and the self-same Zavatti will now replace Tillman as global head of financial institutions.

However, ABN AMRO's commitment to Asia is further strengthened by the move since Zavatti will continue to be based in Hong Kong and split his time between it and London.

This is a striking move. FinanceAsia is reasonably confident that the only other global head based in Hong Kong is Mark Bucknall who runs HSBC's debt capital markets operation for the whole world from Queens Road Central.

Zavatti joined last April from Bank of America, and has 31 years of banking experience.