BoA Merrill makes Tye head of public CB origination

Nicholas Tye moves across from the sales desk to assume responsibility for the origination of publicly placed convertible bonds in Asia-Pacific ex-Japan, while Andrew Cooper takes on a new role as head of corporate finance and structured equity-linked capital markets.

Coinciding with a recent pickup in convertible bond issuance in Asia, Bank of America Merrill Lynch has appointed Nicholas Tye as the effective head of publicly placed convertible bond origination for Asia-Pacific ex-Japan. The long title means he will essentially be responsible for CBs that are sold to the public markets and that entitle the arranging bank to league table credits.

While strong when it comes to structured equity-linked issuance that is privately placed, BoA Merrill has been lagging in public market CBs in recent years and currently does not rank in the top-10 for equity-linked deals in Asia ex-Japan this year, according to Dealogic. The appointment of Tye suggests that the bank is serious about increasing its presence in flow products as well.

Structured and privately placed equity-linked deals will remain the responsibility of Andrew Cooper, a managing director who until now has been head of equity-linked capital markets for Asia-Pacific and of the corporate advisory group in the region. Cooper will assume a new title as head of corporate finance and structured equity-linked capital markets across Asia-Pacific, including Japan.

In a memo to staff announcing the two appointments, BoA Merrill’s head of global equity capital markets, Dan Cummings, noted that the capital markets in Asia-Pacific are poised to deliver robust growth going into 2011. “I believe that there will be significant opportunities to grow our equity capital markets presence and market share in the region. As such, it is critical we position ourselves in a focused manner,” he said.

Tye has already started in his new role and earlier this week worked on a $250 million Hong Kong dollar-denominated three-year CB for Intime Department Store (Group), together with Morgan Stanley and UBS.

Tye moves across from the sales desk, where he has spent the past 13 years focusing on CBs. Since 2006 he has been head of convertible and special equity transactions for Asia-Pacific, and since 2008 he has also held a dual role as co-head of Asia-Pacific (ex-Japan) multi-strategy sales. In the latter position he has been overseeing sales to hedge funds and bank proprietary desks across credit, CBs and private finance.

Consequently, Tye comes to his new origination role with a strong understanding both of the product and the dynamics driving the equity-linked market in the region. He also knows the investor clients well, a source said. He joined Merrill Lynch in 1997 and before that he was a CB trader on the Asian arbitrage desk at Cargill Financial Services Asia.

Tye will report to Jason Cox, who is head of equity capital markets for Asia-Pacific ex-Japan. Cooper will report to Jiro Seguchi and Jayanti Bajpai, co-heads of Asia-Pacific corporate and investment banking, in his corporate finance role. Globally, he will also have a reporting line to Cummings.

BoA Merrill has been trying to increase its focus on flow products for a few months at least and, in early May, hired convertible bond specialists Achintya Mangla and Aloke Gupta from J.P. Morgan. Mangla was to take on a dual role as head of Southeast Asia equity capital markets and head of equity-linked solutions for Asia-Pacific ex-Japan, while Gupta was hired as head of convertible bonds for Asia-Pacific ex-Japan.

However, later that same month – before they started at BoA Merrill – the pair had a change of heart and decided to return to J.P. Morgan. This came after a restructuring of the equity capital and derivatives markets team at J.P. Morgan, which made room for a bigger role for Mangla. He is now joint head of that team for Asia ex-Japan together with Arjun Khullar. Gupta assumed Mangla’s old job as head of equity-linked origination for Asia-Pacific.

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