BNP Paribas' Yuen to join Bear Stearns

Taking on a new role as head of equity capital markets, Yuen will help to expand the US investment bank's ECM franchise in Asia.
US investment bank Bear Stearns has confirmed that it has hired Darius Yuen as a senior managing director and head of equity capital markets for Asia, based in Hong Kong. This comes a day after FinanceAsia reported that Yuen had resigned from his former job as co-head of regional equity capital markets at BNP Paribas.

He will join his new employer in May.

This is a new role at Bear Sterns, which is in the process of building an ECM franchise in Asia, and Yuen will be reporting directly to John Moore who was appointed as the bankÆs first Asia CEO in September last year.

The Wall Street bank has worked on a few equity deals û primarily small follow-ons - in the region in recent years for the likes of Teem Foundation, a timber trading and decorating company, and RexCapital, the holding company for a local Hong Kong brokerage. In December 2007 it stepped up the game by acting as joint bookrunner on the $211 million Hong Kong IPO for online gaming company NetDragons Websoft, but flew in a banker from the US to handle the transaction.

The firm ranked eleventh in the ECM league tables for the US last year with $5.6 billion worth of deals and a market share of 2.4%, according to Dealogic. So far this year, it has been involved in three transactions worth $233 million, which puts it in thirteenth place.

Bear Stearns currently has more than 500 people based in Asia, most of who are located either in Hong Kong or Tokyo. The firm also has offices in Singapore, Beijing and Shanghai, but its expansion in Asia is ongoing and, according to a spokesperson, it continues to make ôstrategic hiresö across a number of business areas, including fixed income, equities and investment banking. In October last year it announced that it would form a strategic partnership with ChinaÆs Citic Securities that will include $1 billion of cross-holdings and a Hong Kong-based joint venture that will offer capital markets services across Asia.

Citic Securities, which is part of Chinese government-owned conglomerate Citic Group, is becoming a more active player outside its home market and was one of three joint bookrunners on China Railway Construction CorporationÆs $2.3 billion H-share IPO that started trading in Hong Kong yesterday.

Yuen had been with BNP Paribas and its predecessor Peregrine Investment for 14 years and for the past few years was responsible for the bankÆs ECM franchise in Asia. As one of the few remaining names from the Peregrine days, he had been instrumental in helping the firm remain a key player with regard to mid-cap equity issuance after it was taken over by BNP.
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