Citi hires McMurtray for Asia CB team

The former Morgan Stanley employee returns to the public convertible bond market after a year at Standard Bank.

Citi has hired Nathan McMurtray to boost its convertible bond team in Asia, according to sources. McMurtray, a managing director, has been head of Asia equity-linked origination at Standard Bank for the past year and is expected to start with Citi in Hong Kong in the next couple of weeks after working out his notice.

The hire comes just days after Morgan Stanley hired five people, including two origination bankers, one sales trader and two traders, to rebuild its CB franchise in the region, suggesting banks are expecting a pickup in new CB issuance. So far this year, Asian companies have raised close to $3.1 billion from 16 new CBs, which compares with $12.7 billion in 2009 as a whole.

McMurtray's exact title has still to be finalised, but a source said he will become the senior CB banker in a team of four, that also includes Pamela Yeung, Rob Chan and Tim Wee. This implies that he will effectively be head of equity-linked -- a title that was last held by Ronnie Potel who left Citi in February 2009 to join Standard Chartered. The team is overseen by Craig Duffy, who is head of equity origination, which includes the equity-linked business as well as Citi's straight equity business outside of China.

Potel, in turn, is one of the five hires made by Morgan Stanley last week, having decided to leave Standard Chartered after less than a year as global head of origination for equity-linked securities at the UK bank. In an ironic twist, Potel and McMurtray have effectively swapped jobs (if you ignore their postings in the past year) as McMurtray was previously head of Asia-Pacific equity-linked origination at Morgan Stanley. He left the bank at the end of January last year as part of a reorganisation.

McMurtray joined Morgan Stanley in New York in 2000, initially within global technology banking and then in the global capital markets division with a focus on CBs. He transferred to Hong Kong in January 2005. Before joining Morgan Stanley, he worked as a lawyer with Cravath, Swaine & Moore for three years.

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