The position had been vacant for about one month after Jamie Boyton left the bank in early September. The fact that it will be filled by someone with extensive experience across the equity capital markets signals that the Australian bank is serious about building its equity platform in Asia.
Firth, 34, has been with Macquarie for 12 years and since 2004 has been based in Hong Kong as head of equity-linked ECM with responsibility for building the bankÆs global convertible bond platform. His past experience also includes IPOs, rights issues and equity hybrids.
In his new role, Firth will be responsible for the distribution and syndication of MacquarieÆs equity and equity-linked offerings across Asia. He will report directly to Basil McIlhagga, who is the head of Macquarie Securities in Asia.
Macquarie became a player in Asian equities after buying ING's local equities business in July 2004, but has focused primarily on building a strong niche within areas where it has traditionally been strong in its home market. These include property, resources, infrastructure and funds. Under FirthÆs lead, the bank has also become more active within convertible bond issuance and last year arranged a $124 million innovatively structured CB for hospital operator Bangkok Dusit Medical Services, which was awarded by FinanceAsia as the Best Thailand Deal of the Year.
According to the bankÆs own calculations, it has been involved in raising almost $2 billion from the CB markets this year for issuers across Asia and in Australia, including deals for Thai shipping company Thoresen Thai Agency and Philippine conglomerate SM Investments. However, DealogicÆs ranking of deal arrangers in Asia ex-Japan (which doesnÆt include Australia) shows Macquarie was still outside the top 10 in the first nine months this year both on equity-linked and overall equity issuance.
The bank is a member of 19 exchanges in Asia-Pacific and provides local access to 12 markets in Asia-Pacific and South Africa, it says in a release announcing FirthÆs appointment.