Credit Suisse names co-heads of ECM

Mervyn Chow and Zeth Hung take on joint responsibility for the firm's ECM franchise in non-Japan Asia after Vikram Malhotra adds investment banking to his remit.

Credit Suisse has appointed Mervyn Chow and Zeth Hung as co-heads of equity capital markets for non-Japan Asia, according to an internal announcement. The pair, who has been with Credit Suisse for 10 years, will effectively take over the day-to-day running of ECM after Vikram Malhotra accepted an expanded role as co-head of the investment banking department (IBD) for Asia-Pacific last month.

Malhotra is also head of the global market solutions group for Asia-Pacific, which includes all of the firm's equity and debt financing businesses in the region -- essentially ECM, DCM and leveraged finance. Previously he shouldered this role alone but since taking on his additional responsibilities last month he now shares it with his fellow co-head of IBD, Helman Sitohang. As Malhotra and Sitohang now oversee both investment banking and the debt and equity financing businesses, it makes sense to delegate part of the ECM responsibilities, especially since this market is starting to reawaken after a very slow 2008 and a virtually non-existent fourth quarter.

A similar delegation has been in place for some time on the debt side, where the day-to-day responsibilities are handled by Derek Armstrong, head of the Asia debt financing group, which comprises DCM, leveraged finance and structured lending.

Chow and Hung both joined Credit Suisse in 1998 and have led the origination and execution of many of the bank's notable equity transactions since then, including the landmark initial public offerings for China Life Insurance, China Construction Bank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. According to the internal memo, they are well qualified to lead the ECM franchise in the region, given their "extensive knowledge of the marketplace and their proven ability to deliver results".

They will work closely with the IBD country and industry coverage teams, as well as the broader equities business (including sales, trading and research) in driving the ECM business in non-Japan Asia, which according to the memo is "an important part" of the bank's IBD franchise.

Credit Suisse ranked third in overall ECM issuance in Asia ex-Japan last year with 19 deals and a 6.3% market share, according to data provider Dealogic. This year it has still to make the top 10.

Chow has spent most of his time with Credit Suisse as an ECM banker, while Hung's IBD background includes stints as a member of the corporate finance and China teams as well as the financial institutions group. Their new appointments are effective immediately.

Malhotra and Sitohang were named co-heads of IBD for the region after the previous head, Paul Raphael, resigned from the firm in mid-March after just two years in the role, to pursue new opportunities. There has been no word yet what those new opportunities may consist of, but Raphael is still at Credit Suisse, working with Malhotra and Sitohang to ensure a smooth transition of his responsibilities, and reportedly may also be in talks with the firm about a new posting.

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