ANZ debt hire

ANZ hires Michael Luk to head debt origination

Michael Luk surfaces at ANZ as global head of debt origination and head of capital markets Asia, replacing Reuben Tucker who is moving back to New Zealand.
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Michael Luk, ANZ
<div style="text-align: left;"> Michael Luk, ANZ </div>

Michael Luk has joined ANZ as its global head of debt origination and head of capital markets Asia (which includes Japan and the Pacific, but excludes Australia). Luk was previously a managing director, head of Asia-Pacific debt capital markets at Bank of America Merrill Lynch until he left the firm in August after slightly more than a year at the bank.

Prior to that, he had spent nine years at Deutsche Bank as managing director, head of fixed income capital markets and head of Asia leveraged debt capital markets.

He starts with ANZ on November 23 and will be based in Hong Kong, reporting to Cathryn Carver, global head of capital markets, and Richard Huston, head of markets for Asia-Pacific, Europe and America.

Luk replaces Reuben Tucker, who held the role since 2008 and recently decided to return to New Zealand with his family, ANZ said in a release. Tucker, who hails from New Zealand, starts his new role as an executive director within the New Zealand institutional division in Auckland in February. He will cover ANZ’s key clients, including those in natural resources, infrastructure, utilities and banks. His new role is not debt specific.

As head of capital markets for Asia, Luk’s remit will include bonds, securitisation and syndicate. The loans product will continue to be headed by John Corrin, ANZ’s global head for loans.

Luk was rumoured at one point to be joining Morgan Stanley, which has a relatively lean debt team in Asia and is looking to build up its franchise. However, the climate for hiring at global investment banks has become much tougher during the past few months and most banks across the street are cutting their headcount rather than adding to it.

In contrast to the international firms, regional banks have been less affected by the crisis — and ANZ has shown a clear ambition to grow its debt franchise in the region. It has been hiring in Asia during the past two years and expanding its local currency bond operations in markets such as Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

Arguably, ANZ has built up more momentum in the local currency bond markets than the Asia-ex Japan G3 markets, where it is placed 27th in the league table, having raised $400 million through two deals, according to data from Dealogic. The bank acted as an arranger on San Miguel’s dollar bond and a $250 million sovereign bond for the Republic of Fiji.

“ANZ is a place where Luk can build the business from scratch and at least it’s hiring at the moment. I’m surprised ANZ hasn’t done better in the G3 league tables — they have lending relationships and a sales-and-trading platform in place so there’s an opportunity to grow,” said one debt banker. “Some of the Japanese banks are looking to expand as well but they don’t have the platform in place.”

For ANZ, landing a seasoned banker such as Luk will help it in its efforts to beef up its platform. “Michael will assume responsibility for the next phase of growth of ANZ’s capital markets platform across Asia and the expansion of our global bond origination business in line with our super-regional strategy,” said Cathryn Carver, ANZ’s global head of capital markets in a release. “As Asia’s capital markets continue to grow in scale and relevance, we are building our capacity to originate debt product from Asia-Pacific and bring the world to this region,” she added.

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