HSBC Russell

HSBC’s Julius moves to Europe, Rynbeck joins

HSBC’s head of banking Asia-Pacific, Russell Julius, is moving to Europe and Jason Rynbeck, formerly of Barclays, has joined as head of M&A Asia Pacific.
Russell heads to Europe
Russell heads to Europe

It's all change at HSBC in Asia. The UK bank's larger-than-life head of Asia-Pacific banking, Russell Julius, is moving to Europe, while Jason Rynbeck, formerly of Barclays, is its new regional head of mergers and acquisitions.

According to a person familiar with the matter, Julius is moving to HSBC's London headquarters to set up a team offering investment-banking services to commercial banking corporate clients. His role in Asia will be divided between two people; one is HSBC’s current head of banking for Hong Kong, China and Taiwan, Liu Che-Ning, but the identity of Liu’s co-head is not yet publicly known. 

Julius’ shift to Europe represents a continuation of HSBC's long standing drive to force its unwieldy commercial banking and global banking divisions to collaborate more effectively and generate more revenue. HSBC’s chief executive officer Stuart Gulliver has prioritised this and in 2011 set a target of $1 billion of incremental revenue, upping it a year later to $2 billion by 2016.

The group reported incremental collaboration revenues of $1.3 billion from 2010 to 2013.

HSBC's operations in Asia have led this collaboration drive, with the number of commercial banking clients tapping debt capital markets rising to 42 in 2013 from 23 in 2012. 

Asia bids goodbye to Julius

Julius, one of Asia's biggest investment banking characters, has helped to catapult HSBC's into the investment banking big league. Already known for its formidable DCM franchise, the bank is now a regional heavy-hitter in mergers, acquisitions and equity capital markets too.

HSBC has advised on some of the meatiest deals seen to date in Asia, including HK Electric's $3.1 billion initial public offering and Temasek's $5.6 billion acquisition of a 25% stake in AS Watson.  

Julius was appointed head of banking, Asia Pacific in May 2010 and leads a team of about 1,250 market professionals across 18 countries and territories.

He is responsible for the management of HSBC's banking business across the region, covering all the bank's products and services for large companies.

Julius joined HSBC as chairman of ECM in May 2002. Prior to coming to HSBC, he was the global head of ECM at ING from 1999 to 2002, having first joined the London bank Baring Brothers & Co in London in 1988. Between 1990 and 1999, he was based in Tokyo, Seoul and Hong Kong, returning to the UK in 1999.

In pursuit of his career in investment banking, Julius put on hold his ambition to settle down and become the bursar of an Oxford college. The Captain’s Bar in Hong Kong will miss his patronage.

Rynbeck joins HSBC

In another high-profile move, Rynbeck, until recently Barclays’ vice-chairman of mergers and acquisitions for Asia-Pacific, has joined the British bank as head of M&A Asia Pacific, the person familiar with the matter told FinanceAsia. Rynbeck will be starting in August.

George Davidson, the outgoing head of Asia Pacific M&A, will become vice chairman of M&A Asia Pacific.

Rynbeck has presided over Barclays’ rise in the M&A league table rankings since joining six years ago. In one landmark deal for the firm, Barclays advised Smithfield on its sale to China’s WH Group. Rynbeck’s expertise on food security was leaned upon during the deal process.

Barclays also helped Chinese internet firm Tencent with its $2 billion purchase of a stake in and advised Indosat on the $406 million sale of towers to Tower Bersama. Rynbeck officially left on May 8.

Rynbeck was named vice-chairman of M&A Asia-Pacific in 2010 after Matthew Ginsburg brought in Ed King from Morgan Stanley as head of M&A Asia-Pacific.

Rynbeck was part of a team of ABN Amro bankers that Barclays hired in 2008 to kick-start its corporate finance business. Barclays, at the time, was ranked a lowly forty-third in Dealogic's M&A league tables.

He joined Barclays from Royal Bank of Scotland, where he was also head of M&A in Asia.

A spokesman for HSBC declined to comment on the moves.

This article was updated to refect changes in Julius' biography last year


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