Citi loses head of equity syndicate

Leslie Holland hands in his resignation after 11 years with Citi to pursue other interests outside the investment banking industry.

Leslie Holland, Citi's head of equity syndicate for Asia, has resigned from the firm and is planning to leave the investment banking industry, according to sources citing an internal announcement. The move follows leadership changes at the Asian syndicate desks of several major investment banks in the past six months and could possibly prompt another round of hires and job switches.

Holland, who has been with Citi for more than 11 years, is not going to a rival, however. According to one source, he is looking for a change of pace and is moving to New Zealand with his family. He will continue to work at Citi until early June.

It was unclear whether Holland's position would be filled internally by Jackie Chien, who has been working alongside Holland for quite a few years, or whether the bank is looking to hire a new syndicate head from outside its ranks. Either way, Citi is likely to need a new appointment to maintain three bankers on the syndicate desk. Also on the desk at the moment is Victor Wong, a former equity salesman who came on board in March and specialises in the origination of block trades, i.e. helping institutional investors to sell large holdings in listed companies.

Holland has been based in Hong Kong for the past five years and before that worked at the firm's equity syndicate desk in London. Prior to joining Citi he worked for a short while at UBS, also in London.

Citi currently ranks seventh in the overall equity capital markets league table for Asia, with 15 deals under its belt, according to Dealogic. Excluding Chinese A-shares the bank is fifth. During Holland's time as head of syndicate, the US bank has completed a number of noteworthy transactions, including Sands China's $2.5 billion IPO last year, China Citic Bank's $5.9 billion dual A- and H-share listing and China Railway Construction Corp's $2.6 billion H-share IPO, which was awarded by FinanceAsia as the best IPO and best equity deal in 2008. Early last year Citi also helped arrange Real Gold Mining's $133 million listing, which we selected as the Best Mid-cap deal in 2009.

There have been numerous changes at the Asian equity syndicate desks in Hong Kong lately. At Credit Suisse, internal transfer Ross Baildon has taken over as head of equity syndicate for non-Japan Asia as Simon Aird has returned to London. And at Deutsche Bank, Sumeet Puri has been brought on board from Morgan Stanley to replace former syndicate head Jorge Munoz , who was initially set to move back to London. However, last week it emerged that Munoz will stay in Asia and will join the ECM team at Barclays Capital.

Goldman Sachs has hired William Smiley from HSBC as co-head of its equity syndicate to fill a position left vacant when Natalie Brink left late last year for a job heading up the equity syndicate desk at Standard Chartered. This led HSBC to poach David Paine from Nomura in Tokyo to take up Smiley's old job as head of Asia equity syndicate.

In the fourth quarter last year, UBS transferred Stuart Mackay to Hong Kong from Europe to replace James Fleming as head of ECM syndicate for Asia. Fleming left Hong Kong in December for a new role as head of ECM syndicate for the Americas.

Around the same time, Macquarie hired Jeremy Wernert, a former head of Hong Kong sales at Merrill Lynch, for a role as head of corporate broking and equity syndication for Asia. Wernert replaced Angus Firth who returned to Sydney at the beginning of this year.

¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.
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