Changes at the helm of RBS's equity syndicate desk in Asia

Rene Mijne will take up a new equity syndicate role in the US and will be replaced on the Hong Kong desk by Patrick Ngan, who is transferring from the origination and execution team.
Rene Mijne
Rene Mijne

The head of Royal Bank of Scotland's equity syndicate desk in Asia, Rene Mijne, is transferring to the US, triggering yet another change within equity syndicates in the region.

Mijne will be replaced by Patrick Ngan, who joined RBS from the equity capital markets team at UBS in 2008 and has been working on the Asian equity origination and execution team since then.

Mijne will head up a new syndicate function at the bank's US headquarters, which is located in Stamford, Connecticut, about a 45-minute train ride north of New York. RBS currently doesn't have a full-blown equity desk in the US, as the bank focuses primarily on selling European and Asian equity issues into the US. Last year, however, it started getting involved in the origination of convertible bonds and other equity-linked transactions.

The business has developed well and in addition to the small origination team and a small sales and trading team, the bank now wants to add someone with syndicate experience to push this effort a step forward. According to sources at the bank, RBS currently has no plans to expand its primary equity business in the US beyond the equity-linked segment.

Mijne, a Dutch national, joined ABN AMRO in Hong Kong seven years ago and has been head of syndicate since then. Initially he was employed within ABN's ECM joint venture with Rothschild -- ABN AMRO Rothschild -- and when that was dissolved following RBS's acquisition of ABN AMRO, he became an employee of RBS but kept the same job. In that role he has been responsible for the distribution of convertible bonds as well as straight equity issues giving him plenty of experience for his new role.

Before moving to Hong Kong, he worked with a small hedge fund in San Diego and before that he was with ABN AMRO in New York.

He will formally take up his new job in the US on August 1, but will spend some time there over the next month as the person who has been handling the syndicate function at the desk until now will be on leave.

Meanwhile, Ngan has already moved to the two-person syndicate desk in Hong Kong. He will assume the title of head of syndicate and blocks for Asia, and will continue to report to John Sturmey, RBS's head of equity capital markets (ECM) for Asia-Pacific, who himself joined what was then still ABN AMRO from UBS about two years ago.

There have been significant changes on the Asia equity syndicate desks in Hong Kong in the past nine months, as banks have been hiring from their rivals to fill vacancies after resignations or transfers within their own ranks. This has in turn forced other banks to hire as well, sparking a series of moves and reshuffles. Since September last year, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, J.P. Morgan, Macquarie, Standard Chartered and UBS have all experienced, or in the case of Citi, announced, staff changes at the equity syndicate level.

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