Justin Haik, the former head of Asia-Pacific equity capital markets and equity syndicate at Morgan Stanley, is leaving the US bank after 16 years, a spokesman confirmed on Thursday.
The move isn’t unexpected after Haik gave up the day-to-day management of the ECM team and the daily dealings on the syndicate desk in May to instead take on a senior client coverage role.
In that position he has remained heavily involved with Morgan Stanley’s biggest clients in the region, particularly international cross border relationships like Temasek and News Corp, and has continued to bring in business and money for the firm. His key focus, according to people at the bank, has been to provide strategic capital raising advice.
However, there has been a lot of speculation that he might be looking for a new challenge, especially in light of several other senior management changes within the investment banking department at Morgan Stanley in recent years. In particular, Haik is known to have been close to Kate Richdale, Morgan Stanley’s former head of investment banking for Asia-Pacific who left in March to become a partner and head of investment banking services for Asia ex-Japan at Goldman Sachs.
There is no information at this point what the new challenge may be, but FinanceAsia understands that Haik will be staying in Hong Kong and that he is considering other opportunities both within investment banking and in other fields once his customary three-month gardening leave is up.
He is said to have put in his resignation sometime in the past two weeks.
Having spent the early part of his career with Morgan Stanley in New York and Singapore, Haik was appointed head of equity syndicate for Asia-Pacific in 2005, which took him to Hong Kong. In that role he turned Morgan Stanley into one of the top banks in the region with regard to block trades, showing that this can be a highly lucrative business.
He was promoted to co-head of ECM in October 2011 together with Ronnie Potel, who was then head of equity-linked origination. Both bankers retained their existing jobs alongside their new co-head roles.
Less than a year later, in August 2012, Potel left the bank, leaving Haik as the sole head of ECM and equity syndicate in the region.
When he stepped down from that dual role seven months ago, Morgan Stanley named Jerome Leleu and Mille Cheng as co-heads of ECM and Alex Abagian as head of equity syndicate.
Leleu was previously head of equity origination for Southeast Asia, while Cheng was rehired from Barclays where she had spent the past couple of years as head of ECM for China. Abagian had effectively been running the equity syndicate since Haik became head of ECM and got busy elsewhere, so for him it was mostly a title promotion.
Morgan Stanley is fifth in Dealogic’s ECM league table for Asia ex-Japan so far this year, which is down from fourth in 2012 and a top-two or three ranking in 2009 to 2011.
The bank has had a leading role on several high-profile deals in the past 12 months, however, including the IPOs of China Cinda Asset Management and BTS Group’s Thai infrastructure fund, the re-IPO of Matahari Department Stores in Indonesia, an H-share private placement for pharmaceuticals distributor Sinopharm and the sale of a 12% stake in Hong Kong-listed ASM Pacific by its Dutch parent via an overnight block trade.