Grab corporate finance chief rides back to banking

Former Barclays veteran returns to the industry with Nomura after a little over a year at hot Southeast Asian ride-hailing start-up.

A veteran ex-banker taken on by Grab to help build its corporate finance team is leaving the Singapore-based start-up to return to the banking industry after little over a year.

Guy Smith, a 20-year Barclays veteran, has joined Nomura as its head of debt capital markets and acquisition and leveraged finance for clients in Asia ex-Japan, according to an internal memo seen by FinanceAsia on Monday.

Grab confirmed on Monday that Smith was leaving, but declined to comment on the departure or who would replace him. 

In his new role, Smith is based in Hong Kong and reports to John Goff, global head of global markets structuring and head of global finance for Asia ex-Japan.

Smith spent most of his banking career with Barclays in London, New York and Hong Kong, taking up various positions at the British bank. He was most recently a managing director and co-head of Asia Pacific debt origination until April 2016, according to his LinkedIn profile.

After leaving the banking industry, Smith joined Grab, the red-hot Southeast Asian ride-hailing company, as head of strategic and corporate finance in October 2016. In a fundraising round in July last year, Grab, founded by Harvard MBA Anthony Tan, raised $2.5 billion from investors like Japan’s Softbank and its Chinese ride-sharing peer DiDi Chuxing, valuing the Southeast startup at $6 billion.

More recently, Grab has added Hyundai as a strategic investor, along with Toyota and Honda.

“Guy is a veteran banker in Asia and has significant experience across debt origination, loan capital markets, leveraged finance and financial sponsors coverage,” Goff and Kenji Teshima, head of investment banking for Asia ex-Japan, wrote in the statement.

Smith will also become a member of the lender's Asia ex-Japan business acceptance committee.

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