Chong Jin Ong has rejoined CLSA in Singapore after two-and-a-half years of working with the Singapore Exchange. He returned to the Hong Kong-based brokerage and investment banking group in mid-January to become head of Southeast Asia investment banking.
This is a new position at CLSA and an expansion of Ong’s previous role at the firm in 2007 and 2008 when he was head of investment banking for Singapore and Malaysia. In his new role he will report to Richard Taylor, who is head of Asia investment banking.
In addition to his regional investment banking role, Ong will also take a lead in developing the firm’s cross-border listing business in Singapore – a business that CLSA views as a key growth area thanks to its position in Asia and its parent company Credit Agricole’s strong relationships in Europe.
Cross-border listings, which in this case refer primarily to the listing of non-Asian companies in Hong Kong or Singapore, are expected to increase in popularity this year, following the successful listing of French cosmetics and skincare company L’Occitane in Hong Kong last year. CLSA was a joint bookrunner on that IPO together with HSBC and UBS. Italian fashion house Prada last month announced that it intends to pursue a listing in Hong Kong this year and, according to bankers, many more companies are considering a similar move. They are keen to tap into the growing pool of capital in the region and raise their profile in Asia.
Ong held a number of different roles at the Singapore Exchange, but was most recently head of marketing and business development and head of the Catalist Board, which meant he was responsible for growing and developing Catalist into a choice capital platform for fast-growing companies in Asia.
Before his previous stint at CLSA, he worked at Cazenove in Singapore and at Merrill Lynch in Hong Kong. He started his banking career with Citibank.
In a separate move, Edward Slade, who is head of equity capital markets for Southeast Asia at CLSA, has moved to Hong Kong to take on an expanded role that will also include ECM coverage out of Hong Kong. He is currently retaining oversight of ECM in Southeast Asia, however. When he was hired in 2004, the Southeast Asia job was new at the firm and designed to broaden its ECM coverage, which at the time was heavily biased towards Hong Kong and China.