Barclays promotes Aram to head Asia credit trading

The British bank has promoted Alex Aram to head its credit trading desk for Asia as it unifies high-yield, investment grade and distressed debt under one umbrella.
Alex Aram of Barclays
Alex Aram of Barclays

Barclays has promoted Alex Aram as head of credit trading operations for Asia Pacific alongside the appointment of two new directors, according to a memo sent to staff on Monday and seen by FinanceAsia.

The two directors were recruited from Standard Chartered.

The promotion and appointments underscore the UK Bank’s desire to expand its credit trading business, widening coverage of investment grade, high-yield and distressed debt in the region under a unified structure.

Aram previously led the bank’s distressed debt business in the region, as well as convertible bond trading for equities.

“We have made good progress in Asia Pacific credit his year,"  Aram said in the memo. "Sales have aligned with our Asia credit research team to focus on our key clients, our partnership with syndicate has paid dividends and we have grown our high yield and china footprint year on year.”

A Barclay spokesman in Singapore confirmed the promotion and appointments.

“This is part of our move to extend and strengthen our credit coverage, including sovereign and investment grade,” said the spokesman. He declined to elaborate on the size of the trading book or the number of staff in the credit trading team citing confidentiality.

Aram joined Barclays as a managing director in July 2008 after spending more than six years with Bear Stearns as a managing director heading the exotic credit trading desk for Asia.

A graduate of Cornell University with an MBA degree from Columbia, Aram worked for Morgan Stanley’s derivatives product group in New York and Tokyo between 1997 and 2000.

Aram will report to Mark Dearlove, head of markets for Asia Pacific. The British bank named Dearlove to the current position in March, replacing Conor Brown, who is on sabbatical and is due to return to the bank in 2016.

Both Aram and Dearlove are based in Tokyo.

Aram will work with Ellis Thomas, Barclays’ head of credit sales for Asia Pacific, in running the credit business for the region. Thomas is based in Singapore.

In addition to the promotion of Aram, Barclays has recruited two banking experts away from Standard Chartered.

James Magsuci has joined Barclays this month as a director and a sovereign trader after spending 12 years in Singapore and the Philippines. Magsuci reports to Aram.

Meanwhile, Simon Moore has joined the UK bank as head of credit sales for Singapore. He reports to Thomas.

Before joining Barclays, Moore spent three years with the Standard Chartered, offering sales coverage to global and local clients. He was a head of Asian credit strategy with Credit Suisse between 2007 and 2012.

In addition, Karen Yeung has been named as head of credit sales for Hong Kong, according to the internal memo.

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