BoAML debt hires

Credit Suisse debt syndicate bankers move to BoA Merrill

As part of a restructuring of its debt capital markets division, Bank of America Merrill Lynch hires Devesh Ashra and Hital Desai from Credit Suisse.

New appointments and internal promotions in Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s (BoAML) Asia-Pacific debt capital markets (DCM) team form the substance of a reorganisation, according to an internal memo released by the US bank yesterday.

The changes are intended to “define three verticals of responsibility” within the DCM business: origination, syndication and leveraged finance and loans. The new structure is consistent with BoAML’s operations in the US. It includes the hiring of two bankers who resigned from Credit Suisse last week.

Devesh Ashra joins as head of Asia DCM syndicate and brings with him his former Credit Suisse colleague Hital Desai, who will work alongside Alan Schmoll. Ashra and Desai are both experienced emerging market and high yield debt syndicate bankers.

Ashish Malhotra, who was previously head of the debt syndication team, has been promoted to a new role as head of Asia DCM, in charge of origination. Ranobir Mukherji, meanwhile, has been named vice-chairman of Asia DCM, maintaining his strong relationships with major borrowers and focusing on “key client” debt origination within the region.

Siong Ooi, who had led the bank’s regional syndicated loan business, has now been made head of Asia-Pacific leveraged finance and loans. Since integrating its corporate and investment banking divisions after the merger of the two banks in 2008, BoAML has been more active in the loan market, especially during the past 12 months. It has used its balance sheet to support event-driven and sponsored deals and acquisitions.

Ashra, Malhotra and Ooi are all based in Hong Kong, and report directly to Jason Cox and James Fleming, co-heads of Asia Pacific global capital markets, who in turn report to Lisa Carnoy, head of global capital markets in New York.

The restructuring folllows an organisational shift that took place last April after six DCM bankers left the firm.

According to Cox and Fleming, the changes will provide “a more focused coverage model across the spectrum of DCM products”.


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