Citi has scored a coup by hiring Morgan Stanley Asia veteran Willard McLane to run the bank’s Asean and financial institutions group (FIG) business in Asia-Pacific. He will be based in Singapore and starts in October.
McLane joins Citi after more than 15 years with Morgan Stanley — for the past 14 he was based in Asia-Pacific, where he was most recently a managing director and regional head of FIG. A Citi insider said it was a major coup for the bank to lure a senior name from one its biggest investment banking rivals in Asia.
“I am delighted to welcome Will to Citi and we are excited by the opportunities we see in both the FIG and Asean space. This also demonstrates our ability to again attract the best talent in the market to support our clients,” said Farhan Faruqui, head of Citi’s corporate and investment banking for Asia.
McLane’s mandate will be to lead Citi’s Asean and FIG corporate and investment banking teams and build further on the momentum Citi already has been gaining in these areas, said Faruqui. McLane has excellent relationships across Asia-Pacific, including with leading Asean and FIG clients and has spearheaded some of the region’s most important advisory transactions in recent years, including Agricultural Bank of China’s $22 billion IPO, DBS’s $2.8 billion rights issue, the $5.2 billion merger between OUB and UOB, and Thanachart Capital’s $2 billion acquisition of Siam City Bank.
“Will is a seasoned and veteran Asian banker and his appointment underlines Citi’s commitment to support our Asean clients with the best talent in the industry,” said Michael Zink, Citi’s chief executive for Asean, in a statement.
“Will’s senior relationships across the region, combined with his proven management and leadership skills, will help us further strengthen our corporate and investment banking capabilities with respect to Asean corporates and financial institutions,” added Faruqui.
During the past year Citi has added top talent to its investment bank in Asia, attracting seasoned bankers such as Gary Kuo from Barclays as vice-chairman in Asia and Roger Zhu from CICC as co-head of China. The bank has added more than 35 staff at director level or higher during the past 12 months, and this hiring has helped improve the bank’s business in Asia, where it has moved to the top four in equity capital markets, G3 bonds and announced M&A for Asia ex-Japan for the year to date, according to Dealogic data.
The bank also recently released its second quarter earnings for Asia, with securities and banking reporting $250 million in profit, up 19% from the same period earlier.
Citi already has an established FIG franchise and this year led IPOs for Haitong Securities and the AIA $6 billion block. In Asean, the bank is advising Danamon in the offer from DBS and last week also led Temasek’s global bond. But insiders say the bank, while a leading player in both FIG and Asean, wants to be recognised as a top three market leader for its clients in both areas so McLane’s relationships and network will be crucial in helping Citi achieve this goal.