After almost five years in Asia, Macquarie’s Mark Warburton is returning to Australia to become head of the bank’s equity capital markets business there. Warburton has been head of Asia ECM since August 2007.
According to an internal announcement yesterday, Warburton will officially take up his new position on June 1. However, sources say he left Singapore earlier this month and is already working out of the Sydney office.
His previous job as head of Asia ECM has been taken over by Jeremy Wernert, the firm’s head of corporate broking and equity syndication for Asia. Wernert, who joined Macquarie in October 2009, will continue to head up the syndicate desk alongside his new ECM responsibilities, the sources said.
Warburton is a veteran at Macquarie, having joined the Australian bank in the corporate finance division in Sydney in 1994. He moved to ECM in 1997 and between 2006 and his move to Asia in the fourth quarter of 2007, he was head of equity syndication for the group, based out of Sydney.
Macquarie had a strong couple of years in Asia when Warburton first arrived to the region, ranking 10th in Dealogic’s overall ECM league table for Asia ex-Japan in 2008 and 12th in 2009 — years when many of the global firms were busy dealing with the fall-out from the financial crisis. It did particularly well with regard to Hong Kong IPOs and even ranked at the top of the table for new Hong Kong listings in 2008 (up from 21st in 2007) after being involved in three of the five largest offerings by Chinese companies, including the H-share portions of the dual A- and H-share listings for China Railway Construction Corp and China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock. In 2009, it ranked seventh, but since then it has fallen outside the top-10 on Hong Kong IPOs as well.
Last year Macquarie ranked number 35 for Asia ex-Japan and so far this year, it is in 46th place after completing three deals. In Australia, it is currently ranked number three in ECM, behind Morgan Stanley and UBS, with $538 million raised across nine deals.
However, the Australian bank is mandated on a number of IPOs in Asia, including the multibillion dollar listing of the Mongolian Tavan Tolgoi mining business, which is still discussing the possibility of the triple-listing in Ulan Bator, London and Hong Kong. It is also involved in the first renminbi-denominated listing in Singapore, which is backed by ARA Asset Management, a Reit manager linked to Li Ka-shing; and is a bookrunner on the Hong Kong IPOs of Inner Mongolia Yitai Coal and Zhengzhou Coal Mining Machinery, which are looking to raise about $1 billion each during the next couple of months.
Macquarie currently has about 25 ECM bankers in Asia, of which about half are based in Hong Kong.
When Wernert joined Macquarie to take over the syndicate desk after Angus Firth who was returning to Sydney, he had a background primarily in sales, including six years as head of Hong Kong sales at Merrill Lynch between 2003 and 2008. His most recent role before joining Macquarie was as CEO of Stonebridge Asia. He has been selling Asian equities out of Hong Kong since 1998 and has strong buy-side client relationships.