Deutsche duo follow Luk to BoA Merrill

Deutsche Bank's debt capital markets team suffers two defections as Jimmy Choi and Kang-Jae Kim join their old boss Michael Luk at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Deutsche Bank has suffered two more senior defections from its Asia debt capital markets (DCM) team, following the resignation of Michael Luk at the beginning of this month.

Jimmy Choi and Kang-Jae Kim, both directors based in Hong Kong, handed in their notices yesterday, according to market sources, and will join Luk (their former boss), who was poached for the top Asia DCM job at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Choi was head of Asia high-yield capital markets at Deutsche and Kim had responsibility for high-grade bond origination in the region. Choi also has expertise in leveraged finance, a division that Luk led at Deutsche. At BoA Merrill, Choi will head the debt products solutions division and report directly to Luk; Kim will report to Ranobir Mukherji, head of Asia DCM ex-Japan and Australia, and take the job of director of DCM coverage.

Choi and Kim, who both worked at Goldman Sachs before joining Deutsche, are expected to start at BoA Merrill in June.

Luk moved to an elevated role at BoA Merrill, where he heads DCM for the whole of Asia. At Deutsche, he was in charge of fixed-income capital markets and leveraged finance, but reported to two bosses, Daniel Mamadou and Venky Vishwanathan, who are co-heads of DCM and corporate coverage.

BoA Merrill is clearly continuing to wave its cheque book, as it looks to build its presence in the region. Further hires are likely in the next few months, not just in DCM, but in other investment banking divisions as well, according to sources. Mukherji started at the US bank in February, having left UBS at the end of last year.

Meanwhile, the structure of the DCM operation at Deutsche remains unchanged and embedded within the larger global markets group. Patrick Tsang had already assumed Luk's old responsibilities, and is in charge of high-grade, high-yield and leveraged DCM origination. He reports to Mamadou and Vishwanathan. However, it is not unlikely that Deutsche will look for replacements for Choi and Kim and, no doubt, it will be keen to ensure there are no more defections.

BoA Merrill and Deutsche Bank declined to comment. 

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