According to sources though, once his three-month gardening leave is over, Yuen will join a US investment bank in Hong Kong as head of ECM.
He has played a similar role at BNP Paribas over the past few years together with the firmÆs other co-head of regional ECM, Esther Wong, and has been instrumental in helping the firm remain a key player with regard to mid-cap equity issuance after it was taken over by BNP in 1999. Although it has retained a primary focus on Hong Kong and China, the bank is also active in Southeast Asia and was named the best mid-cap equity house in Asia by FinanceAsia for three years running between 2003 and 2005.
Among the mid-cap companies it has brought to market in recent years are Mengniu Dairy, Parkson Retail Group and specialty steel manufacturer Tiangong International. At present, the bank is joint bookrunner for the ongoing $1.4 billion IPO for rice cracker producer Want Want and sole lead manager for Solargiga EnergyÆs $127 million offering. The latter was relaunched this week in a down-sized format after being postponed amid difficult market conditions in January.
Since Yuen had more of an overseeing role, his departure wouldnÆt necessarily have that much impact on the bankÆs day-to-day business, sources say. Within equity capital markets, each of the firmÆs key regions already has a separate head û Christopher Wong for Hong Kong, Gordon Wong for China and Kihui Teh for Southeast Asia û who will continue to lead the business.
According to the BNP Paribas spokesperson, the bank has more than 10 banking professionals on its ECM team in Asia at present.
However, sources say one more team member has resigned in recent days, although the person in question has not yet left the bank. This person too is going to a rival investment bank, but not the same one as Yuen.