Deutsche names Asia co-heads of ECM

Jason Cox and Kefei Li become heads of Deutsche Bank’s ECM operations as the bank finalises its new management team.

Deutsche Bank has appointed Jason Cox and Kefei Li as co-heads of Asia Pacific ECM, a role that had been vacant for nearly a year, as the German bank restructures its corporate and investment banking division under the leadership of new head James McMurdo.

Cox, who was most recently co-head of Asia-Pacific global capital markets at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, will join Deutsche next week, according to a person familiar with the situation. He left the US investment bank in July last year. 

Cox will work alongside Deutsche Bank's Kefei Li, the other co-head of ECM in Asia Pacific. Li joined Deutsche as a managing director last year. He previously worked for UBS, most recently as head of China ECM.

They will report to Mark Hantho, Deutsche Bank’s global head of equity capital markets.

The appointment of Cox fills the void created by the departure of former head of ECM Neil Kell in March last year. Li has been leading the team since he came on board last year.

Cox and Li are expected to ramp up Deutsche Bank’s capability to originate and execute ECM deals after a dismal year in 2015. According to Dealogic, the German bank completed 32 deals and had a 2.6% share of Asia Pacific ECM last year. Both figures were the lowest in the last five years.

The first task for the duo could be the IPO of China Development Bank Financial Leasing, which recently filed for a listing that is expected to raise over $1 billion. It is set to be the first billion-dollar IPO sponsored by Deutsche Bank since China Huishan Dairy’s $1.3 billion transaction in September 2013.

Management restructuring

The ECM appointments are part of a wider management reshuffle by Deutsche Bank following a series of senior management departures in the region last year.

They include the departure of Henry Cai, Deutsche Bank’s former executive chairman of corporate finance for Asia-Pacific, who left to set up an private-equity fund that primarily invests in German companies.

Bhupinder Singh, the bank’s former Asia Pacific co-head of corporate banking and securities, as well as Southeast Asia head of investment banking advisory and coverage Parvati Banati, both departed in August last year.

Cai and Singh’s responsibilities were taken over by James McMurdo, who was promoted to Asia-Pacific head of corporate and investment banking in November.

With the appointment of the new ECM heads, Deutsche Bank has finalised the new management structure for its Asia-Pacific corporate and investment banking business. The team will be led by McMurdo as well as Richard Gibb and Simon Roue, co-Heads of Asia Pacific corporate finance.

Deutsche Bank’s debt capital markets operations will be headed by Roue, who also holds the title of head of DCM Asia Pacific. He will run the business along with Jake Gearhart, head of debt syndicate and origination for Asia-Pacific, who was appointed to the role in January.

Mayooran Elalingam will continue to spearhead the bank’s Asia-Pacific M&A business.

The bank’s sub-regional corporate finance heads include Oliver Brinkmann (North Asia), Sreenivasan Iyer (Southeast Asia), Lan Chen (China), Sanjay Agarwal and Amit Bordia (India), Bruce MacDiarmid and James Roth (Australia) and Sung Eun Ahn (Korea).

Asia focus

Asia will remain as one of the key markets for Deutsche Bank after it announced a global strategic overhaul that involves the removal of 9,000 jobs by 2020. As part of the restructuring, the German bank said it was exiting operations in 10 nations: Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Uruguay, Peru, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Malta and New Zealand.

But the bank has said it will maintain its investment in Asia, which is playing an increasingly important role to the German bank’s overall business.

Co-chief executive Juergen Fitschen said the bank’s 2015 accounts were likely to show Asia revenue up 14% year-on-year to over 4 billion euros ($4.5 billion), outpacing forecast growth in overall revenue of 4.6%.

Deutsche Bank could potentially be more focused on its regular business in Asia this year after agreeing to sell its entire 19.99% stake in Hua Xia Bank to Chinese insurer PICC Property and Casualty.

The stake in the Chinese lender has been dragging on the German bank’s business since May last year when Beijing initiated an anti-corruption probe into a vice-president of Hua Xia.


This article has been corrected to show that Li has been leading the team since he joined the firm last year. 

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