Claudio Piron will become the latest addition to Bank of America Merrill Lynch's fixed-income team as he joins from J.P. Morgan to head emerging Asia foreign exchange and fixed-income strategy.
In this role, Piron will be responsible for creating research products covering the local Asian markets and will work closely with the bank's emerging markets fixed-income and economics research teams globally.
The role has been vacant since before the financial crisis. The former head was Simon Flint who reportedly left Merrill Lynch in June 2008 to become head of the Asia strategy division at Lehman Brothers. Flint is now head of foreign exchange strategy at Nomura.
Piron will be based in Singapore and will report to Daniel Tenengauzer, head of global emerging markets economics and fixed-income strategy research. Locally he will also have a reporting line to Hunsoo Kim, director of Asia-Pacific research. A source familiar with the hire said Piron is expected to be starting his new job within the next couple of weeks.
"Claudio's appointment adds to an already strong Asia team and allows us to deepen our macro research penetration into the local Asian markets," said Kim.
Piron has been head of Asia foreign exchange strategy at J.P. Morgan for the past six years. Before that he was global head of foreign exchange strategy at Standard Chartered Bank for four years.
Over the past two months BoA Merrill has made some significant hires within fixed income. The most recent additions are Jimmy Choi and Kang-Jae Kim, who both defected from Deutsche Bank to join BoA Merrill's debt capital markets division.
Their move was sparked by their former boss, Michael Luk, who resigned from Deutsche to join BoA Merrill in early March. Luk was appointed head of debt capital markets for Asia-Pacific, a job that he took over from Rick Stoddard, who is taking on a more senior role within the firm.
And, in February, Ranobir Mukherji moved across from UBS to become head of DCM for Asia -- a role that reports to Luk.
BoA Merrill's efforts to bolster its ranks have been paying off. In the past month alone, the bank has won international bond mandates from PT Bakrie Telecom, Essar Steel Holdings, Korea Exchange Bank, Renhe Commercial Holdings and Fantasia Holdings.
According to Dealogic data, BoA Merrill has participated in eight deals in the G3 currency markets this year, and is currently eighth in the league tables with $1.6 billion worth of deal credits. This ranking is expected to improve given its heavily laden pipeline. Last year BoA Merrill ranked eighth for G3 currency issues in Asia ex-Japan.