Ajay Kapur moves to BoA Merrill

High-profile strategist is leaving Deutsche to head Asia-Pacific and emerging markets strategy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has hired top-rated analyst Ajay Kapur from Deutsche Bank. He will join the firm in June as Asia-Pacific equity strategist and also assumes the new role of global emerging markets strategist.

He will be based in Hong Kong and reports to Steve Haggerty, head of Asia-Pacific research. In his emerging markets role, Kapur will work closely with Michael Harris and Felipe Hirai, emerging equities strategists in Europe and Latin America, respectively.

In his Asia-Pacific role, he will work closely with Nigel Tupper, global and Asia-Pacific quantitative strategist, as well as the country-based equity strategists.

Kapur, who was head of Asia strategy at Deutsche, brings considerable experience, having worked in equity research and strategy on both the buy-side and the sell-side during 24 years in the business.

He was head of Asia-Pacific regional strategy at Salomon Smith Barney between 2002 and 2004, and then chief global equity strategist at Citi in New York from 2004 to early 2007, when he left to set up his own hedge fund, and then in 2008 became chief global and Asia strategist at Mirae Asset Securities, before joining Deutsche in 2010.

He has also been head of equity strategy at Morgan Stanley in Hong Kong, an Asian equity strategist at UBS, chief economist at Peregrine Securities in Hong Kong and an economist at the WEFA Group in the US.

Kapur is also known for having coined the term “plutonomy” to describe an economy with substantial income and wealth inequality that is driven largely by the wealthy part of the population.

Joining Kapur on his team are Umesha De Silva and Ritesh Samadhyia, who has worked with him since they were at Citi together in 2007. Later that year, they left with other Citi bankers to set up Hong Kong-based hedge fund First Horse Capital, and also worked together at Mirae.

Kapur is the second senior banker to move from Deutsche to BoA Merrill during the past few weeks, after the US bank poached Richard Yacenda as chief operating officer for Asia Pacific at the end of February.

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