He will take up his new position in August and will report to Glenn Schiffman who is the firmÆs head of investment banking for Asia ex-Japan.
The move comes after news in late March that 10-year Lehman veteran Charles Alexander, who was head of Asia corporate finance, had left the bank to join Standard Chartered as regional head of origination and client coverage for Northeast Asia. However, the US investment bank made a high-profile hire of its own in September last year when it poached Colin Banfield from Credit Suisse to become head of M&A for Asia ex-Japan.
Indeed, the hire of Lee is part of an ongoing expansion of Lehman BrothersÆ investment banking team in the region û in size and geographic coverage û and suggests that the firm aims to put additional focus on Southeast Asia. The expansion gained pace after Schiffman moved to the region from New York in April 2007.
Recent achievements that result from the increased focus on investment banking include its advisory role (together with CICC) for The Aluminium Corporation of China (Chinalco) on its and US aluminium firm AlcoaÆs joint $14 billion acquisition of a 9% stake in diversified miner Rio Tinto. It also advised China Huaneng Group on its winning $3 billion bid for Temasek-owned and Singapore-based Tuas Power in an auction that was completed in March.
Those two deals have helped propel Lehman Brothers to the top of the M&A league table for Asia ex-Japan this year (with a 10.4% market share) from a position outside the top 10 last year. It is currently not among the top 10 firms in ECM, compared with its 2007 ranking as the ninth most active bank, although equity issuance has been thin so far this year and several other firms are also lagging behind their performance last year.
Lee was most recently head of investment banking for Singapore and Malaysia as well as senior country officer for both these countries at UBS. Before joining the Swiss investment bank in 2003 he worked with Morgan StanleyÆs M&A team in Singapore. He has also worked with BZW in London and with Credit Suisse in London and Singapore. He came to Asia in 1998.