Macquarie hires Jeremy Wernert as head of equity syndicate

A former head of Hong Kong sales at Merrill Lynch, Wernert will take over the helm at the Asian equity syndicate desk from Angus Firth who is returning to Australia early next year.

Macquarie has hired Jeremy Wernert as its new head of equity syndicate for Asia to replace Angus Firth, who will be returning to Sydney in the first quarter next year, according to sources. A Macquarie spokesman confirmed the appointment and said Wernert will join Macquarie today to allow for a smooth transition.

His full title will be head of corporate broking and equity syndication for Asia, which means that aside from running the equity syndicate desk and being responsible for the distribution of ECM transactions to investors, he will also focus on building relationships between companies on the one hand, and the financial markets and investment community on the other. This will be done through corporate days, roadshows and general investor relations.

Wernert has been broking Asian equities out of Hong Kong since 1998, most recently as CEO of Stonebridge Asia, and brings with him a wealth of experience in Asian markets as well as strong buy-side client relationships. Between 2003 and 2008 he was managing director and head of Hong Kong sales at Merrill Lynch and prior to that he held a variety of roles within audit, funds management and corporate finance.

Firth has been with Macquarie for 14 years. He moved to Hong Kong in 2004 as head of equity-linked ECM and was appointed head of corporate broking and equity syndication for Asia in October 2007, replacing Jamie Boyton who had left the bank a month earlier.

Macquarie's equity operations in Asia have come of age during Firth's time as head of syndicate. In 2008 the bank ranked as the top underwriter of IPOs in Hong Kong after lead-managing 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. And this year, it has been involved in a range of new listings, including the hugely popular offering for building materials supplier BBMG.

The Australian firm became a player in Asian equities after buying ING's local equities business in July 2004.

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