BofA Merrill loses its Southeast Asia M&A head

Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s head of Southeast Asia M&A, Axel Granger, has left the US bank after what looks like being a fairly active first quarter.

Axel Granger, Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s head of Southeast Asia mergers and acquisitions has left the bank, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

Granger resigned on Friday and is expected to join a financial services company based in Singapore, one of the sources told FinanceAsia.

Granger, who was based in Singapore, was a director at the US bank. Based on his LinkedIn profile, Granger had been at Bank of America Merrill Lynch since 2008, and was based in Hong Kong from 2008 till 2013, when he relocated to Singapore.

Prior to joining Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Granger was at UBS for seven years and worked within telecom, media and technology investment banking, based in the UK and Hong Kong.

Busy first quarter

Granger’s departure comes as the US bank rounds off a busy first quarter in mergers and acquisitions. According to data provider Dealogic, Bank of America Merrill Lynch is currently leading Southeast Asia M&A league tables, having advised on $14.7 billion of deals year-to-date.

Last year was similarly busy for the bank. Bank of America Merrill Lynch topped M&A league tables for Southeast Asia, advising on $20.6 billion of deals, followed closely by Citi, which advised on $20.1 billion of deals. The total volume of M&A deals chalked up in 2014 was $131 billion, up 6.5% on 2013, Dealogic data shows.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch advised clients on a number of high-profile deals within Southeast Asia, including Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation’s acquisition of Wing Hang Bank and First Pacific's and Wilmar's acquisition of Goodman Fielder.

Other recent banking departures in Singapore include Goldman Sachs's head of M&A in Southeast Asia, Ruben Bhagobati, who left the US bank in early March along with Antoine Izard, its managing director for investment banking in Singapore.

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