HSBC appoints co-heads of Asia banking

The UK bank has named Martin Haythorne and Liu Che-Ning as replacements for Russell Julius, who is relocating to London.

HSBC has appointed Martin Haythorne and Liu Che-Ning as co-heads of banking for Asia-Pacific, replacing Russell Julius, who is relocating to London, according to an internal memo seen by FinanceAsia.

The moves extend a spate of management changes in Asia by the UK bank, which recently also hired Jason Rynbeck from Barclays as its regional head of mergers and acquisitions.

Haythorne, currently HSBC's deputy global head of banking and global head of credit and lending, will move from London to Hong Kong in the next few months; while Liu, head of banking for Greater China, will remain in Hong Kong.

Liu’s move was reported last week by FinanceAsia but Haythorne’s was not previously announced. Both appointments are effective September 1.

Haythorne is a 30-year HSBC veteran, holding a variety of roles in London, Toronto and New York, covering corporate lending, financial institutions, and risk and credit lending.

He will remain deputy global head of banking and will continue to lead credit and lending globally until a successor is announced.

Liu joined HSBC from Morgan Stanley in 2009 and built up the UK bank’s presence in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. He will also join the banking strategy committee.

A replacement for him will be announced “in due course”, the memo said.

Haythorne and Liu will report to Robin Phillips, global head of banking, and Gordon French, head of global banking and markets, Asia-Pacific, who co-authored the memo.

The appointment of co-heads is becoming a common theme among global investment banks as they attempt to better coordinate business segments and mix regional expertise with industry experience. HSBC itself also has co-heads for markets, Asia-Pacific, and for its Asia-Pacific equity capital markets business.

“The appointment of co-heads would seem to suggest HSBC seeks to further enhance co-operation between its investment and corporate banking businesses," said Nick Green, managing director at GreenGroup Executive, one of Asia's leading financial services headhunters. "Haythorne has a long track record in corporate and Liu is a leading name in the Asian investment banking industry."


The appointments Haythorne and Liu go some way to cushioning the blow of losing such a seasoned performer as Julius, one of Asia’s biggest investment banking characters.

Julius joined HSBC as chairman of ECM in May 2002 and became head of banking Asia-Pacific in May 2010. He presided over a team of about 1,250 professionals across 18 countries and territories; a beat inherited by Haythorne and Liu.

He was part of the bank's efforts to get different business segments to collaborate more effectively to help improve cost synergies and increase revenue. The strategy has been broadly successful, with HSBC now sourcing more investment banking revenue from its commercial banking clients.

The group reported incremental collaboration revenues of $1.3 billion globally from 2010 to 2013. Asia-Pacific contributed to this drive, with the number of commercial banking clients tapping debt capital markets rising to 42 in 2013 from 23 in 2012.

HSBC has also risen up the investment banking league table. For the year-to-date period, it currently sits atop the Dealogic league table for Asia ex-Japan with investment banking revenues of $165 million.

According to the memo, Julius is moving to HSBC’s London head office to take up a newly created senior role as head of commercial banking origination and capital financing in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

In this role Julius will set up a team offering investment banking services to commercial banking corporate clients, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Rynbeck, meanwhile, joined HSBC, from Barclays, where he was vice-chairman of M&A for Asia-Pacific, and is due to start in August, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Rynbeck oversaw Barclays' rise in the Asian mergers and acquisitions rankings. In one landmark deal, Barclays advised Smithfield on its sale to China’s WH Group. Rynbeck’s expertise on food security was called on during the deal process.

HSBC declined to comment on any of the moves.

¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.
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