Bank of America Merrill Lynch has poached UBS banker Xia Yang to head Greater China equities -- a newly created role -- as the investment bank continues to grow its regional business, according to an internal memo seen by FinanceAsia.
Yang will report for duty at the end of October and will be based in Hong Kong, according to the memo. He will report directly to Olivier Thiriet, head of Asia Pacific equities.
Yang will be responsible for driving strategy and growth of the American investment bank’s Greater China equities business, including equity trading, sales and research, as well as deal origination and execution. He will join the bank’s Asia Pacific equities management committee immediately after his appointment.
Yang is joining from UBS where he most recently held the positions of head of equities for UBS China and chairman of UBS Futures China. He spent nearly six years in Hong Kong from 2007 to 2012 and was subsequently relocated to Shanghai.
Before moving to Hong Kong, he spent two years in Tokyo with UBS Japan between 2005 and 2007 with a focus on algorithmic trading and client trading execution.
Apart from equities Yang has also extensive experience in financial futures business, including his involvement in UBS Securities’ acquisition of Shanghai Pumin Futures Brokerage last year.
The appointment of Yang underlines the Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s commitment in the equities business in Greater China, which has been booming since the opening of the mainland stock market.
Demand for equities trading and clearance support has grown since the introduction of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect in November last year.
The southbound quota (mainland investors buying Hong Kong equities) of Rmb10.5 billion (HK$12.7 billion) could potentially increase revenue from trading and clearing businesses by over 10% based on HKEx’s average daily turnover of HK$121.5 billion in the first eight months, although the quota has seldom been fully used.
Yang’s appointment will also help Bank of America Merrill Lynch prepare the upcoming launch of a similar scheme linking Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
Yang holds an MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business, a master of science in electronic design automation from Carnegie Mellon University and bachelor degrees in both electrical engineering and enterprise management from Tsinghua University.