Credit Suisse has appointed Tucker Highfield as its new head of equity syndicate in Asia ex-Japan, or non-Japan Asia, as the Swiss firm refers to it. The appointment was announced internally last week and is effective immediately.
Highfield, who is a managing director, has been with Credit Suisse since 2004 and was most recently head of equity capital markets (ECM) for Southeast Asia. When he first took up that role in November 2010 he was based in Singapore, but for the past year or so he has been back in Hong Kong.
He has already been working closely with the syndicate desk on numerous deals in the past few years and knows many of the investors who participate in Asian deals on a regular basis. At the same time, his origination experience should add a lot of value to the desk. Hence, Highfield is a good fit and it is expected to be a smooth transition as he takes over the helm.
The previous syndicate head, Joss Fisher, left the bank earlier this year. However, he has been off the desk since sometime in the fourth quarter last year and for the past several months Indranil Bhattacharyya has filled the empty spot on a temporary basis. He has now returned to his permanent position in equity syndicate and origination in London.
Highfield’s previous responsibilities as head of Southeast Asia ECM have been taken over by Manish Chhalani, who has rejoined Credit Suisse after a few years away from the industry. Chhalani had the same job when he left the bank in November 2010 and between 2007 and 2010 he also led Credit Suisse’s corporate finance effort in Southeast Asia, so it is an experienced banker who is taking charge of origination in what has become one of the busiest ECM regions in Asia — particularly when it comes to IPOs.
In the first quarter, the value of ECM transactions in Southeast Asia increased by 120% from the same period 2012 to $8.7 billion, which was just slightly behind the $10.2 billion worth of deals by Chinese companies outside the A-share market.
Credit Suisse ranked fifth in the ECM league tables for Asia ex-Japan in the first three months this year and sixth in Southeast Asia ECM.
Highfield will continue to be based in Hong Kong and will have a joint reporting line to Mervyn Chow, who is head of the global markets solutions group for Asia-Pacific, and Albert Park, the head of Asia-Pacific equities sales.
Before he took charge of Southeast Asia, Highfield was part of the ECM team in Hong Kong and focused most closely on China, Taiwan and Korea. Prior to joining Credit Suisse, or actually its predecessor Credit Suisse First Boston, in 2004, he worked in ECM at Lehman Brothers. Initially he was in Tokyo, but for the final year or so he was based in Hong Kong.
Chhalani joined Credit Suisse in 2007. He will be based in Singapore and will report to Mervyn Chow.