Four more leave Jefferies in Hong Kong

The HK office continues to lose bankers with four more, including head of corporate finance for Asia Ronald Tam, leaving the firm.

The Hong Kong office of Jefferies remains a revolving door, with four more investment bankers leaving the US investment bank about a week ago, according to a source familiar with the matter. 

The four are Ronald Tam, erstwhile head of corporate finance for Asia, Katherine Huang, a senior vice president, plus Michael Sun and Jeff Na, who were both vice presidents, the source told FinanceAsia.

Ronald Tam and Katherine Huang, who previously hailed from UBS, joined Jefferies in 2011 as it expanded its capital markets presence in Asia. Sun and Na joined within the last year.

The four bankers could not be reached for comment, while a Jefferies spokesman contacted by FinanceAsia declined to comment on the departures.

The departures add to the recent churn within Jefferies' Hong Kong office, where efforts to build out the bank's China capital markets franchise have been based.

Jefferies' two senior Asia bankers Sherry Liu, chairman of Asia and vice-chairman of global investment banking, and Ren Wang, another ex-UBS banker and the US bank's current Asia president, are also based in Hong Kong.

Other recent departures from the Jefferies Hong Kong office include Dai Qiang, yet another ex-UBS banker who worked as managing director for telecommunications, media and technology, Richard Yang, previously managing director and co-head of Asia healthcare and consumer, and senior vice president Terry Zhi. All three left Jefferies in March.

Prior to joining Jefferies, Yang was head of consumer and retail investment banking at ICBC International. Zhi previously worked at Royal Bank of Scotland and joined Jefferies as a China coverage banker.

Hiring too

Despite the churn within the firm's Hong Kong office, the bank has been expanding its headcount in the region.

"In the last six months we have increased the number of investment bankers in Asia by approximately 20%, including the hiring of six [managing directors and senior vice presidents]," the Jefferies spokesman said. "Our investment banking team in Asia currently stands at 45 professionals, who are part of a team of 200 professionals across Asia in sales, trading, research and investment banking."

The bank spokesman added that Jefferies has this year also hired four bankers who are now based in Hong Kong or are soon expected to move there. That includes an unnamed managing director, who is expected to join in September to lead its consumer and retail business in Asia, ex-CIMB banker Michiel Prompers, who will join Jefferies in Singapore in early August and be based in the Hong Kong office by December, and two other bankers, who are mostly below senior vice president level, he said.

In Singapore, Manish Berlia joined Jefferies in March as a senior vice president.

In India, Indraneil Borkakoty joined Jefferies in February as a managing director and head of India equity capital markets and financial sponsors investment banking. Ankur Dalwani also joined that month as a managing director and head of India power, infrastructure and renewables investment banking.

In Japan, Takumi Tanaka joined in February as managing director and head of Japan investment banking.

Jefferies went through a round of aggressive hiring back in 2011, when it poached a team of bankers from UBS, and in 2012, but it has struggled to climb the league tables in the region. According to data provider Dealogic, the bank is ranked 69th in core Asia ex Japan investment banking revenue so far this year, slipping back from 49th place during the same period last year.

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