Harish Raman leaves UBS for Citi

Citi hires a second UBS banker in just two weeks for its equity syndicate desk in Hong Kong.
Harish Raman
Harish Raman

Harish Raman has resigned from UBS and will be joining his former colleague Steve Lam on the Asian equity syndicate desk at Citi, sources said yesterday. The departure comes just two weeks after Lam left the bank and while UBS has a fairly large syndicate team under the leadership of Sam Kendall, the loss of two people in such quick succession is bound to leave a gap.

Raman has worked at UBS for five years, mainly as head of Asian equity-linked. However, in the middle of last year he took on a dual role on the equity syndicate desk focusing on India.

Victor Wong

At Citi he will be a vice president on the four-person syndicate desk in Hong Kong, with a focus on India and the Asean region. He will replace Victor Wong, who is about to leave Citi in June to return to the US with his family. As reported earlier, Jackie Chien resigned from the same desk earlier this month and, according to sources, will be joining Daiwa Capital Markets as head of equity syndicate in mid-May. Her spot on the desk will be filled by Lam.

Raman and Lam will both report to Rupert Mitchell, Citi’s head of equity syndicate for Asia-Pacific ex-Japan.

Prior to joining UBS, Raman worked for three years with HSBC -- mainly in the corporate finance department in India, but in early 2006 he transferred to Hong Kong and a job in the equity capital markets team. However, he lasted only three months in that position before he left for UBS.

He is expected to start at Citi towards the end of June or in early July, around the same time that Wong is leaving. His focus on India and Asean is bound to keep him busy. Citi is traditionally strong in India ECM across IPOs, follow-ons and convertible bonds. Earlier this year it worked on Tata Steel’s $766 million follow-on offering and last month it acted as the sole bookrunner for luxury hotel operator EIH’s $258 million rights offering. The bank is also mandated for the pending government sell-down in Oil & Natural Gas Corp, which is expected to raise more than $2 billion.

In Southeast Asia, Citi is a joint bookrunner on Mapletree Commercial Trust’s Singapore IPO, which started pre-marketing in early March but has held off on launching a formal roadshow in light of the market volatility following the earthquake in Japan. The US bank was also a joint bookrunner on Garuda’s IPO and Bank Mandiri’s rights issue in Indonesia, which both closed in late January. According to preliminary data from Dealogic, Citi ranked sixth for ECM issuance in India in the first quarter and seventh in Southeast Asia.

Wong has been with Citi in Hong Kong for about 12 years. Initially with the equity sales team, he transferred to the equity syndicate desk in March last year to take on a new role focusing on origination of equity blocks and accelerated transactions.

While UBS would not confirm this, it is understood that the bank has already hired a replacement for Lam. However, it may now need to find a second person to fill the vacancy left by Raman.

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