JP Morgan has named Doug Howland as its head of equity distribution for Japan in a newly created position, and also hired equity capital markets veteran Naohisa Ando from Nomura.
The US bank’s move to bolster its Japanese team comes as investor interest in Japanese stock markets has surged following the government’s fiscal and monetary stimulus earlier this year.
Japan’s investment banking revenue accounted for 31% of all Asia Pacific deal revenues in the year to date, up from 23% a year earlier and the highest level on record for the period, according to data provider Dealogic. Equity capital market teams drove the increase, while M&A and debt capital market’s volumes languished, Dealogic said.
Recent market turmoil has not derailed expectations of more deals to come.
Elevated secondary trading volumes, investor interest in Japan and primary issuance by Japanese companies are all likely to continue into next year, Jeff Zajkowski, head of Equity Capital Markets, Asia Pacific at JP Morgan, told FinanceAsia.
“In recognition of this trend we are strengthening and deepening our bench across the platform in Japan,” he said.
Howland will report to Andrea Casati and Kazuma Naito, co-heads of equity distribution, across the Asia Pacific region.
In his new role, Howland will run the team selling Japanese stocks to institutional investors working closely with colleagues locally and internationally. He already has decades-long relationships talking to the largest investors in Japanese stocks said a colleague.
Howland joined the firm in 2007. He was most recently head of capital markets in Japan and has helped the team snag roles this year such as joint global coordinator on Suntory Beverage & Food’s $3.9 billion initial public offering and joint book runner on the $7.8 billion secondary offering of Japan Tobacco shares by Japan’s government. Last year JP Morgan acted as top book runner for Sony Corp’s $1.9 billion convertible bond offering.
Meanwhile, Yoshihiro Katsumura will assume sole responsibility for equity capital markets in Japan. His title remains the same. Katsumura joined JP Morgan in 2006.
Masaki Inoue will assume sole responsibility for investment grade debt in Japan. His title also remains the same. Inoue joined JP Morgan in 2008.
As part of the overhaul, Naohisa Ando has joined the equity capital markets team as head of capital market advisory in Japan.
Ando worked at Nomura Securities for more than 20 years, most recently as head of capital markets.
“Ando-san is one of the most experienced bankers in the Japanese equity capital market,” said Zajkowski. “Ando-san is taking on a classic capital markets role but it will also tap his great expertise in structuring and execution issues,” he added.