Head of ECM at RBS resigns after three months in the job

Stanley Ho is leaving the bank, but it is unclear what he will do next. Meanwhile, RBS announces new hires in equity sales and trading.

Royal Bank of Scotland’s head of equity capital markets for Asia, Stanley Ho, has resigned, putting pressure on the bank to look for a new regional head of ECM for the second time in just three months. Ho was promoted to lead the division on June 3 after former ECM head John Sturmey handed in his resignation the previous day.

The quick appointment of Ho was viewed as a positive move and showed the bank was keen to maintain consistency in its ECM department after it had also been forced to replace its head of Asia equity syndicate Rene Mijne. Mijne was about to transfer to the US to head up a new syndicate function at the bank’s US headquarters.

The fact that Ho is leaving after just three months will be a blow to those efforts and RBS will now most likely have to look outside the bank for a new ECM head.

It is unclear what Ho will do, but expectations are that he will resurface somewhere else in Hong Kong before long. Initial speculation that he would follow John Sturmey and rejoin UBS appears not to be correct, however.

Sturmey left RBS to become co-head of global capital markets (GCM) for Asia at UBS together with Joseph Chee. The pair replaced Steven Barg, who left the firm in late May to join Goldman Sachs. Sturmey had a long history at the Swiss bank where he spent more than 10 years before he joined ABN AMRO in 2008 when the latter was already in the process of being integrated into RBS. When he left UBS, Sturmey was head of equity syndicate for Asia.

Stanley Ho worked on that same syndicate desk before he left UBS for a stint with ICH, a Singapore-based financial advisory firm. He joined RBS as head of ECM for North Asia in 2008. Ho has 10 years of experience in ECM origination and syndication across Asia.

RBS declined to comment on a possible replacement. However, a source said it appeared as if Ho had agreed to stay on for a short while to “clean things up”.

Mijne’s former position as head of Asia equity syndicate was taken over by Patrick Ngan, who also joined RBS from the ECM team at UBS in 2008 and had been working within equity origination and execution for Asia since then.

Meanwhile, RBS said on Sunday that it has hired six new people for its Asian equities sales and trading business, including four senior additions to its cash equity sales team, as it continues to actively build and expand its equities business in the region. Two of the hires, Steven Chang and Jazil Ghias, will be based in London and the US respectively, but will be responsible for delivering Asian equities products to the firm’s clients in Europe and the US. The other four will be based in Hong Kong.

Ronnie Lim is joining the cash equity sales team from hedge fund Climate Change Capital, which he joined in 2007. He has previously also worked with Morley Fund Management, CLSA and Cazenove.

He is joined on the same team by Ning Lim, who most recently worked at BOC International with responsibility for Hong Kong and China equities sales. Lim has previously also worked at Citi, DBS Securities and OCBC Securities.

The third addition to the team is Mary Beth McNamara, who comes on board from CLSA, where she was responsible for Asia equity sales. Before joining CLSA in 2003 she worked with ABN AMRO and Lehman Brothers.

In addition, Hank Terrebrood has been hired as a senior cash equity sales trader. He joins from Daiwa Securities where he has worked in a similar role since 2008. He also has a background with Pali International Asia Private Limited, KBC Financial, J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse.

Chang, who is joining as a cash equity salesman in London, has been hired from Diverso Management Private Equity Fund, while Ghias, who will be based at RBS’s US headquarters in Stamford, New York, is joining from Merrill Lynch. Ghias will become part of the equity derivative sales team.

“These hires clearly showcase the commitment we have to Asia, and are part of an integrated strategy to increase the scale of our equities business in the region and our determination to promote our Asian business to our global partners,” Peter Irvine, head of equities for Asia-Pacific, said in a written statement.

Other additions to the equities business in recent months include Abhinav Gorawara, as head of equity and structured retail sales; Ben Wilder, Cici Bian and Monique Sin in senior structured product sales; and Maranda Wong as head of Greater China and private wealth management sales for equities and structured retail. Wong, who was most recently with Merrill Lynch, will be responsible for all third party sales activities in Taiwan, China and Hong Kong.

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