Can John and Mario do it?

Two new hires have been given the task of lifting ABN AMRO''s equities business out of the second tier.

FinanceAsia caught up yesterday with ABN AMRO's global head of equities, John Smith and Asia CEO of equities, Mario Malt. Both are new to the firm and come with distinguished track records. Smith was a UBS long hauler between 1988 to 1996 in its highly regarded equity research team. He then had brief spates at Deutsche Bank and DLJ. He took over as global head at ABN in October.

Malt is a Japan buff, having been based there for about 13 years, and spent large chunks of his career with Jardine Fleming, Morgan Stanley and Kleinwort Benson.

Both know what they want to take ABN AMRO's equities business into the top...

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