RoyÆs departure comes soon after Merrill Lynch let go of Osman Semerci, formerly global head of fixed income, and Dale Lattanzio, previously co-head of the divisionÆs American operations.
Merrill Lynch declined to comment on RoyÆs departure, but one source says: ôRoy returned to Asia in July after a spell in the States where, as global head of correlation trading, he was directly involved in the CDO business.ö Roy moved to New York in 2006, returning to Asia just prior to the subprime blow-up which led Merrill Lynch to announce an $8.4 billion write-down, the biggest quarterly loss in its history, mostly from bad investments related to risky subprime mortgages and its CDO positions.
Other sources say RoyÆs relationship with Semerci has also played a role in his departure: ôRanodeb was brought in as co-head under SemerciÆs regime, so his position was jeopardised the moment Merrill Lynch let go of Osman,ö says one source. ôHung stays on since he is widely seen as safe, steady, old-school management and most likely marketed himself as such.ö
Hung has worked at Merrill for 14 years, having joined the bank in 1993 as vice president of debt sales covering Greater China. In 2000, he was promoted to head of Asia-Pacific debt sales, then to head of Asia-Pacific Rim debt markets and board member of the Asia-Pacific region executive committee in August of the same year, according to the internal memo.
Semerci, meanwhile, was reportedly a protTgT of Dow KimÆs who, earlier this year, left his position at the bank as executive vice president and co-president of global markets and investment banking to establish a private investment firm. According to a press release dated May 14, Merrill Lynch expected to be an initial client of Kim's new firm, with Kim serving as an advisor to senior management for a transition period.
Links between KimÆs firm and Merrill Lynch have now been severed.