Knobloch takes over HSBC's Asian debt syndicate desk

Matthias Knobloch has been promoted to head of HSBC’s debt syndicate desk for Asia-Pacific after his predecessor, Mark Mallia, left the bank suddenly for personal reasons.

Knobloch has worked on the bank’s syndicate desk for the past two years and has gained valuable experience during a particularly busy period for the team. Indeed, one banker described Knobloch’s time at the bank as a “baptism of fire”.

Mallia had been his boss on the desk since January 1, but left two weeks ago after just a couple months in the job. He was hired to replace Sean Henderson who had run the desk since 2005 and transferred to Sydney at the start of the year to take up a new role as the firm’s head of debt capital markets for Australia.

Knobloch transferred to Hong Kong in 2009 after four years on HSBC’s emerging markets origination desk in London, to replace Mark Whitcroft after he left to join Deutsche Bank. That was not his first time to the region; he previously worked a six-month stint in Asia while based in London.

Knobloch, who is a German citizen, assumed his new role on March 2 and will report to Stephen Williams, head of debt capital markets for Asia-Pacific, and Jean-Marc Mercier, HSBC’s new global head of debt syndicate. Bryan Pascoe, HSBC’s previous global head of debt syndicate, was recently promoted to global head of debt capital markets.

It is understood that Mallia, whose family lives in Thailand, decided the job was not right for him, due in part to the rigorous work schedule on the syndicate desk and the challenge of commuting between Hong Kong and his family home.

“I guess this is not how HSBC thought it would work out when Mallia first joined,” said a rival banker. “But Matthias is a great guy. I imagine it will be a steep learning curve but he knows the bank well and it’s a great opportunity for him.”

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