Patrick Porritt has left UBS and is heading to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, according to people familiar with the matter.
Porritt will replace Michael Tan as head of BofA ML’s financial institutions group (known in the industry as FIG) in the Asia-Pacific region, they said. Tan left BofA ML to join Credit Suisse last year.
BofA ML has also been scoring landmark FIG mandates of late. The US investment bank advised on Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group’s $5.73 billion bid for a 75% stake in Bank of Ayudhya, Thailand fifth-largest bank by commercial assets.
BofA Merrill also helped the seller on MS&AD Insurance Group’s purchase of a 50% stake in the life insurance unit of Indonesia’s Sinar Mas for Y67 billion, at a price-to-book ratio of 4.7 times, as well as Canada's Sun Life Financial during its purchase of a Malaysian life insurer.
Porritt has been with UBS since 1997. The Swiss bank moved Porritt from London to Hong Kong to head Asia FIG in 2011 after Ren Wang left to join Jefferies.
Last year UBS rehired Steven Sun from Standard Chartered as chairman of FIG in Asia. An internal UBS memo dated November 2013 announcing Sun's move also said that Jimmy Wong would become sole head of FIG Asia and that Porritt would take up a new position which would be announced in due course. Porritt was keen to stay in the region, according to one of the people.
Before moving to Asia, Porritt was named joint head of FIG for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (Emea) in 2010.
He first joined the FIG Emea team in 1999 and worked on many cross-border transactions involving Asian companies. However his primary focus was on the UK and Ireland, where he has was involved in a number of the biggest bank recapitalisations, including Royal Bank of Scotland and Bank of Ireland — experience which has subsequently proved useful in Asia as well.
In his first two years at UBS, Porritt worked with the M&A group. He joined the Swiss bank from Robert Fleming.
UBS and BofA ML spokespeople declined to comment on the moves.
Elsewhere in the region, Goldman Sachs named John Mahoney head of FIG for Asia-Pacific excluding Japan, replacing Peter Enns in the role, according to an internal memo dated April and seen by FinanceAsia.
Mahoney is currently head of the banks sector in Goldman Sachs’ financial institutions team in the Americas.
Additional reporting by Denise Wee
This article was updated to add the contents of a UBS internal memo dated November 2013