BofA ML names Bilgi Zapparoli APAC banking co-head

The US bank has appointed Elif Bilgi Zapparoli as co-head of Asia Pacific global corporate and investment banking alongside Jiro Seguchi

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has appointed Elif Bilgi Zapparoli as co-head of Asia Pacific global corporate & investment banking (GCIB), alongside Jiro Seguchi, according to a memo seen by FinanceAsia.

As co-heads, Bilgi Zapparoli and Seguchi will work closely on the execution of regional GCIB strategy, deepen client relationships and strengthen collaboration across the firm, the memo said.

The memo was signed by Christian Meissner, head of global corporate & investment banking, and Matthew Koder, Asia Pacific president, and sent to all Asia Pacific and GCIB employees on Thursday.

Bilgi Zapparoli will relocate to Hong Kong later this year and report to Koder regionally and to Meissner globally. 

Bilgi Zapparoli joined the firm in 2010 as country executive for Turkey and is also head of global sovereign wealth funds coverage and head of CEEMEA investment banking. As head of SWF coverage she already has clients in the region and spends considerable time here.

A separate announcement will be made regarding her current responsibilities, the memo said.

At BofA ML GCIB covers investment banking, global capital markets, and corporate lending. It excludes secondary markets trading. 

The co-head structure for the division is not new for BofAML. Seguchi became sole head of GCIB when his co-head Jayanti Bajpai moved back to London. 

Bajpai and Seguchi become jointly responsible for corporate and investment banking in the Asia-Pacific region in 2009. Before Merrill was absorbed into Bank of America, Damian Chunilal, Merrill's then chief operating officer for the Pacific Rim and head of Pacific Rim investment banking, left the firm after failing to become the new head of investment banking in the region.

That role eventually went to Jim Forbes, who has been with Merrill for close to 14 years and who, prior to moving to Asia, was head of global healthcare investment banking, based in New York.

Bajpai focused on Asia-Pacific (ex-Japan) corporate and investment banking, while Seguchi looked after investment banking in Japan. Prior to Forbes's appointment, Seguchi was head of origination in Japan. 


Before joining BofA ML Bilgi Zapparoli worked at EFG Istanbul Securities, a company she founded, as chairman. Bilgi Zapparoli was a member of the board of Eurobank Tekfen and before this she worked at Iktisat Yatirim as managing director. Prior to these appointments she held positions at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley in New York.

Bilgi Zapparoli holds a MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and International Relations from Brown University and the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Bilgi Zapparoli is a member of the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) and the Supervisory Board of OMV Aktiengesellschaft. She also serves as the member of the Global Advisory Council of Harvard University and as a trustee at Robert College.

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