BoA Merrill hires Yacenda and Thiriet

Bank of America Merrill Lynch continues to hire from Deutsche Bank, appointing Richard Yacenda as its new COO in Asia. Meanwhile, Olivier Thiriet joins from Credit Suisse to be the new head of Asia-Pacific equities.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has continued its regional expansion with a number of senior hires. In an internal memo seen by FinanceAsia, the bank announced that it has hired Richard Yacenda to be its COO for Asia-Pacific.

Yacenda joins from Deutsche Bank, where he had been deputy COO since 2006. He is the latest in a string of high profile hires to join BoA Merrill from Deutsche, since it poached Loh Boon Chye to be the head of Asia-Pacific global markets in October 2012.

A spokesman at BoA Merrill confirmed the contents of the memo, which stated that Yacenda will be based in the Hong Kong office and will report to Steve Tighe, global banking and markets chief of staff, and Matthew Koder, president of Asia Pacific. Yacenda previously worked for Goldman Sachs for 21 years and has spent the past 16 years in Asia, living in Hong Kong, Beijing and Singapore.

He will start his new position in May. Jennifer Taylor, who is currently chief operating officer for Asia Pacific, will relocate to London and will become COO of Europe and emerging markets, reporting to Alex Wilmot-Sitwell, president of Europe and emerging markets, and also to Tighe. Taylor has been in her position as COO for Asia since 2007.

Meanwhile in the front office, the firm has hired Olivier Thiriet to become its new head of equities for Asia. Thiriet will replace Peter Macdonald, who is relocating to London in April to become BoA Merrill’s vice-chairman of international equities. He had been head of Asia-Pacific equities since 2010 and will move to London in April.

Thiriet joins from Credit Suisse, where he was chief executive and president of Credit Suisse in Japan, as well as head of Asia-Pacific cash equities. Functionally, he will report to Fab Gallo, global head of equities, and regionally to Loh. His new remit will include Japan coverage and he will start as soon as he has fulfilled his gardening leave, being negotiated with Credit Suisse.

An internal memo dated February 22 and signed by Gallo and Loh said: “Peter has been instrumental in our success, providing the leadership needed in difficult markets and ensuring he leaves a strong platform for Olivier to develop further. We thank Peter for all his efforts to date ... We look forward to Peter’s and Olivier’s contribution at an international and regional level and are confident these changes better position us for the future as we look to improve our market share, rankings and client penetration.”

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