Macquarie staffs up in equity derivatives

Six new hires from four different banks signal Macquarie’s intention to build its equity derivatives business.

A string of new hires in Hong Kong suggests that Macquarie Securities is strengthening its equity derivatives business. The Australia-based bank has hired six equity derivatives specialists from rivals in Hong Kong recently, including Ted Tsao from Royal Bank of Scotland, who will move to New York to head global institutional sales.

Tsao held a similar role at RBS in Hong Kong, though only started there last October. Before that he was Asia head of institutional marketing in Citi's equity derivatives team, until the height of the market slowdown in early 2008. The appointment of Tsao and five other bankers comes just three months after Macquarie Securities hired a new global head, Todd Steinberg.

Steinberg was previously Americas head of commodity and equity derivatives at BNP Paribas, where two of the new hires also used to work: Olaf Kasten and Ken Cooper, who join as head of Asia equity derivatives trading and head of delta-one sales for Asia, respectively. Bill Chan comes on board from Citi as a senior institutional salesperson. And, from J.P. Morgan, Cedric Augius has been hired as head of the index flow options desk for Asia and Ian Butler will run Japanese single-stock options books.

Macquarie has already built a competitive equity capital markets business. It completed its first ever equity underwriting deal in Asia in 2007, and has since gone on to underwrite the largest IPO in Hong Kong in both 2008 and 2009 (China Railway Construction Corporation in 2008, China Minsheng Bank in 2009) and was also one of the bookrunners on the recent Agricultural Bank of China IPO, the world’s largest IPO ever.

Macquarie Securities Group, the former ING stock broking business, has built a reputation as the world’s largest distributor of Asian equities. It researches more than 1,200 Asia-listed securities and has more sales people dotted around the world focused purely on selling Asia-listed securities than any of its competitors. It now wants to sell Asian equity derivatives to a global client base – a job that Ted Tsao will spearhead on the sales side in New York.

Kasten reports to Steinberg and Mark Duncan, head of cash equities for Asia, while Tsao reports to Steinberg. Chan reports to Mark Holland, head of Asia institutional derivative sales, and Justin Crawford, Asia head of distribution for cash and derivatives equity sales. Cooper reports to Crawford and Richard Sansaricq, global head of delta-one sales. Augius and Butler report to Kasten.

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