Hopson to head equity syndicate at Samsung Securities

Anthony Hopson returns to the investment banking industry after a couple of years as a consultant. The hire comes amid a new round of changes on the equity syndicate desks in Hong Kong.
Anthony Hopson
Anthony Hopson

Samsung Securities International, the Asian arm of one of Korea’s largest securities firms, has hired Anthony Hopson as head of equity syndicate as it continues to build its equity capital markets and investment banking business in the region. Hopson, who has a background on the syndicate desks at Schroders, Citi and Nomura, started his new job yesterday and is reporting to Stephen Metcalfe, who joined Samsung as head of equity capital markets in October last year.

As of now, Metcalfe and Hopson make up the entire ECM division, but the firm is looking to make another “half a dozen” hires in ECM and investment banking to support the business.

Hopson joins Samsung at a time when other banks are also seeing changes on their Asian equity syndicate desks in Hong Kong. In the past couple of weeks, Jackie Chien has left Citi to join Daiwa Capital Markets as the head of equity syndicate, while Steve Lam has left UBS to fill the space left by Chien at Citi, sources say.

Jackie Chien

Chien has been with Citi for five years and this will be a chance for her to build her own team at Daiwa, which has been hiring aggressively in the past 18 months to build an Asian operation alongside its strong Japanese franchise. At Citi she was the number two on the desk, initially reporting to Leslie Holland and, after his departure in June last year, to Rupert Mitchell who took over as head of equity syndicate for Asia-Pacific ex-Japan in October. At Daiwa she will most likely be reporting to Jonathan Orders, who joined Daiwa at the end of September last year as head of ECM. Orders is also based in Hong Kong. Daiwa declined to comment.

Before moving to the syndicate desk at Citi in May 2006, Chien worked at J.P. Morgan in Hong Kong for almost five years, focusing on equity origination.

Steve Lam

Lam will take on a similar role to that he had at UBS, where he reported to Sam Kendall, who is head of equity syndicate for Asia and global head of blocks. However, after three-and-a-half years at UBS, Lam may feel it is time for a new challenge. He started his banking career at BNP Peregrine in 2000 and worked in a few different places before he joined UBS in July 2007. Immediately prior to UBS, he was at the equity syndicate desk at CLSA for about a year.

It is understood that UBS has already hired a replacement for Lam, although the bank would not confirm this.

The current round of musical chairs is not likely to be as extensive as the turnover last year, when at least eight banks, including Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and HSBC, saw high level changes on their syndicate desks. For one, Hopson isn’t hired from another firm, meaning his move to Samsung won’t spark the need for a new hire somewhere else. Indeed, for the past couple of years he has been doing consulting work for companies looking to set up businesses in Asia.

But he is no newcomer to the world of equity syndicate. Hopson joined the syndicate desk at Schroders in 1997 and ended up at Citi when the US bank bought Schroders’ investment banking division in 2000. In 2004 he joined Nomura’s equity syndicate in London and in early 2006 he came to Asia to help out with the $3.5 billion initial public offering of Lotte Shopping, for which Nomura was a bookrunner alongside Goldman Sachs and Daewoo Securities. This deal, which was the largest Korean IPO at the time, got Hopson working alongside Metcalfe who was co-head of ECM for Asia ex-Japan at Nomura and once Lotte was completed Hopson ended up staying at Nomura in Hong Kong, cementing the relationship between the two.

Hopson left Nomura in 2009 shortly after the Japanese firm bought Lehman Brothers’ Asian operations.

Daiwa Capital Markets, the investment banking arm of Japanese brokerage and financial services company Daiwa Securities Group, and Samsung are among a group of “new” firms that are trying make a name for themselves in investment banking in Asia, leveraging the strong positions they have in their home markets and taking advantage of the restrictions imposed on bonus payments at major US and European banks that have made it easier to hire senior talent. Together with the significant layoffs in the industry during the financial crisis, this has also made bankers more willing to take on the challenge of building a new business at a smaller firm. Barclays Capital and Standard Chartered are two other banks that have been in a build-out phase with regard to ECM and investment banking over the past two years.

In February, Samsung’s head of investment banking and principal investments, Paul Chong, said the firm is looking to boost its investment banking team in Asia by adding up to 20 corporate finance bankers in the next few months. The new additions, which will be based in Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai, will add to the seven corporate finance bankers already on board. Samsung has also been hiring for its sales and research divisions in the past 18 months and currently has an equity research team of more than 40 people in Hong Kong.

Daiwa Securities outlined an expansion plan for Asia in November 2009, saying it intended to invest ¥100 billion ($1.15 billion at the time) to increase its headcount in the region to more than 1,100 by 2011. By July last year, it had added more than 100 bankers which brought its total headcount in Asia to approximately 850, and it has made several other significant hires since then.

¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.
Share our publication on social media
Share our publication on social media