Bank of America Merrill Lynch continues to raise its profile and assert its commitment to Asia with the internal announcement yesterday that it has hired Chris Gammons from Citi to head its financial sponsors group.
Gammons' mandate is to develop the bank's coverage of private equity clients and to deliver "integrated solutions across corporate and investment banking" in Asia-Pacific, according to a press release yesterday. Basically, that means helping private equity funds find suitable targets and opportunities, which BoA Merrill is confident it is able to do, because of what it believes are the especially cooperative links and relationships within the bank.
Gammons will start work in March and will be based in Hong Kong. His responsibilities will span the whole of the region, targeting opportunities in Korea and China in particular, and will complement the activities of Tim Latimore, who is focused on servicing private equity clients in Japan. On a day-to-day basis, Gammons will report to Jayanti Bajpai and Jiro Seguchi, co-heads of Asia-Pacific corporate and investment banking, and ultimately to Karim Assef, head of global financial sponsors.
Gammons was poached from Citi, where he had been head of the financial entrepreneurs group for Asia-Pacific since 2007. He has lived and worked in Asia for more than 15 years, including a spell at Merrill Lynch in the late1990s when he was a member first of the corporate credit team and then the debt capital markets team, focusing on opportunities for issuers in Indonesia and elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Before Citi, he was head of debt products for Asia ex-Japan at Deutsche Bank, which he joined from J.P. Morgan's Asia ex-Japan debt capital markets group.
"Chris has a wealth of experience in Asia and in the financial sponsors' space," said Bajpai in the announcement. "This is an important appointment that signals our intent to be a leader in an increasingly important sector."
Gammons' appointment "follows a series of high profile hires in the region in the last six months, as we expand our corporate and investment banking platform", a spokesperson at BoA Merrill said yesterday.