BoA Merrill adds to ECM team with Goldman banker

Edmund Sim leaves Goldman for BoA Merrill, as his former employer confirms the hire of William Smiley as co-head of equity syndicate and makes two additional internal ECM appointments in the region.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is continuing on its hiring spree with the addition of a senior Goldman Sachs banker to its equity capital markets team. According to a source, Edmund Sim, who was an executive director based in Beijing at Goldman, will join BoA Merrill in a couple of months after serving out his gardening leave.

At BoA Merrill he will be a director within the ECM department, reporting to Jason Cox, the bank's head of ECM for Asia-Pacific. The new hire will add new capacity to the Asia ECM team at BoA Merrill, which now includes some 10-12 people, insiders say. Bank of America Merrill Lynch ranked ninth in the ECM league table for Asia last year, according to data provider Dealogic, but is off to a good start this year, having helped arrange the $2.24 billion Hong Kong IPO for Russian aluminium giant Rusal.

Sim had been with Goldman since June 2008, initially in Hong Kong and since January 2009 in Beijing where he worked with Goldman Sachs Gao Hua Securities -- the US bank's investment banking joint venture in China.

Sim has been involved in the IPO of numerous Chinese firms both in Hong Kong and the US. At the time of his resignation last Friday, he was working on the Nasdaq listing of Chinese budget hotel operator Hanting Inns and Hotels. The company, which is listing under the name of China Lodging Group, is aiming to raise up to $110 million through an IPO that is expected to price on March 25.

Before joining Goldman, Sim worked in the ECM team at Citi, which he joined in March 2004. He has previously also worked at BOC International.

Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs confirmed yesterday the hire of William Smiley as co-head of equity syndicate, based in Hong Kong, and said it has also appointed Thomas Deng head of China ECM. Deng was previously the bank's chief China strategist based in Hong Kong.

And in a third move to strengthen its ECM team, Hayden Stockdale will relocate from Australia to Hong Kong to take up a regional role focusing on the natural resources sector within ECM.

Smiley's hire has been a badly kept secret in the market ever since he resigned from HSBC in January. He will fill a role that was left vacant at the end of last year when Natalie Brink left to become head of equity syndicate at Standard Chartered. Working alongside fellow co-head of equity syndicate, David Binnion, Smiley will be responsible for driving IPOs and block trades across the region -- a similar role to his previous job as head of equity syndicate at HSBC.

Smiley spent 10 years at HSBC and came to Asia for the first time at the end of 2005 to help out with the execution of the $2.5 billion IPO of Link Reit, which was the largest ever government privatisation in Hong Kong. He made a permanent move to Hong Kong and the Asia equity syndicate desk in the second quarter of 2006.

Deng's move from strategist to head of China ECM is a slightly more curious move. In announcing the promotion, Goldman said he will be responsible for leading the expansion of the bank's equity financing business in China and noted that his addition to the team is an important step in the continued build-out of the bank's ECM business in China.

Deng joined Goldman in 2004 and was named a managing director in 2007.

With regard to Stockdale's transfer from Australia, Goldman said he has significant capital markets experience in the natural resources sector to help drive key client relationships, as well as execution. The natural resources sector will continue to be an area of significant capital markets activity in the future, it said.

Stockdale joined Goldman's Australia arm, Goldman Sachs JBWere, in 2005, where he most recently led the equity capital markets effort in the natural resources sector.

Goldman Sachs ranked fourth in Asia ECM last year, and sixth for IPOs, according to Dealogic. 

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