BofA ML hire

BofA Merrill hires Southeast Asia FIG head

BofA Merrill has named Mayank Saxena its head of its Southeast Asia financial institutions coverage.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch named Mayank Saxena as head of its Southeast Asia financial institutions group (FIG) on Friday, replacing Sharhan Muhseen, who joined Credit Suisse earlier this month.

Saxena is based in Singapore and will report jointly to Chris Gammons, BofA Merrill’s head of investment banking in Southeast Asia, and Patrick Porritt, head of Asia Pacific FIG who is joining from UBS. Porritt has not finished gardening leave yet and starts work on August 1.

Saxena will be responsible for deal origination, execution and coverage of financial services clients in Southeast Asia, said Jiro Seguchi, BofA Merrill’s head of Asia Pacific corporate and investment banking, and Gammons in a memo to BofA Merrill staff seen by FinanceAsia. The move is effective immediately.

Investment banking revenues from advising financial institutions across Asia ex-Japan has hit $829 million so far this year, up from $757 million over the same time frame last year. FIG is the second-biggest fee generator behind industrials, according to data provider Dealogic.

Many Asian financial institutions are looking to expand beyond their home market, particularly the Japanese. BofA Merrill has tapped into this trend and advised Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ on its purchase of Thailand’s Bank of Ayudha. The US bank is advising Singapore’s OCBC on its $4.99 billion acquisition of Hong Kong’s Wing Hang, which is still awaiting regulators’ approval.

Other banks are looking to consolidate their position in domestic markets, such as CIMB in its three-way-merger with RHB Capital and the Malaysia Building Society. The deal, which is still in its early stages, is in line with the Malaysian government’s economic transformation programme, which supports consolidation in the domestic banking sector to help ward off competition from other financial centres such as Hong Kong or Singapore.

Many banks are seeking help to raise capital that is compliant with new global regulations. BofA Merrill and Credit Suisse, were joint bookrunners on OCBC’s $1 billion 10-year Basel III tier-2 subordinated note in June and on its $1 billion 10.5-year tier-2 bond in April, the first ever bank capital transaction in the 144A market in Asia ex-Japan.

BofA Merrill was also a joint bookrunner on CIMB’s M$3.55 billion ($1.09 billion) follow-on share sale in January, the first time CIMB has raised funds in the equity capital markets since it listed in 2003.

Returning home
Saxena, who is 34 years old, was most recently with Credit Suisse in Singapore as a senior vice-president, where he led coverage of financial institutions across Southeast Asia.

Prior to this, he worked in FIG at Citi in New York for about six years covering global financial clients. During this time he worked on such transactions as Sumitomo Trust & Banking’s purchase of Nikko AM from Citi in Japan.

An Indian national and a Singapore Airlines’ scholar, Saxena began his career with Merrill Lynch in Singapore where he spent three years as an analyst covering clients in Southeast Asia.

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