Macquarie's hires defy turbulent markets

Moves and hires in the bankÆs Asian offices signal that it remains upbeat on the region, and particularly China, India and Korea.
In spite of the remarkably chilly circumstances of declining markets, and a pummelling of its own share price, informed market sources report that Macquarie remains in an expansionary phase in Asia.

The Australian bank, which is estimated to have hired around 100 banking professionals in Asia since January, has made a few changes. The firmÆs critically important infrastructure fund division û headed by Nick van Gelder û will see more firepower added with the transfer of Michael de Guzman from Taipei to lead a team of six bankers in Hong Kong and two in Beijing. De Guzman, whose successes with the Taiwan Broadband investment marked him out as a rising star within Macquarie, will focus on the acquisition of new infrastructure assets and the creation of new infrastructure funds for Macquarie.

In Korea, Macquarie is looking to expand in the property area, and has hired Kayoing Shin from Samsung Overland and Patrick Sung from Citigroup Realty Services. In India, the firm has added Amitabh Bhargava from ICICI, Bhupal Vepa from Old LaneÆs Infrastructure Private Equity Fund, Abishek Agarwal from Capital One, and Movva Hari Kishan from ICICI Securities. They will focus on expanding the firmÆs infrastructure, property and funds business in India.

Perhaps the biggest staff additions have been made in MacquarieÆs China franchise, say market sources. Among eight key hires in China are: Keith Chan who has been hired from HSBCÆs real estate team; Bardin Davis who joined from ABN AMRO where he worked on energy and resources; and Wai Ming Loke who was recently hired from Merrill Lynch to focus on China execution and financial institutions coverage.

In Southeast Asia, a major change is dealmaker, Stephen CuUnjiengÆs shift to a vice-chairman role, sharing oversight of the Philippines with Eduardo Martinez-Miranda. Joining the Singapore office will be LBO specialist, Frederic Messerschmitt, who comes from ING in Paris, and to boost the airport team, Yiak Tiam Lim, who previously worked with Changi Airport.

Finally, in equity capital markets, Macquarie recently announced it has appointed Mark Warburton as head of ECM in Asia. Warburton will relocate from MacquarieÆs Sydney homebase to Asia.

ôOur business continues to grow at a very strong pace with more than 100 new hires in the last six months,ö says Andrew Low, MacquarieÆs corporate finance head for Asia. ôWith MarkÆs breadth of experience in corporate finance, ECM and equities, he is ideally placed to take our ECM business in Asia to the next level.ö Also joining in ECM are Karen Chan from Cazenove and Alex Hui who previously worked at Lehman Brothers.

Evidently, if all this hiring is anything to go by, Macquarie isnÆt expecting the regionÆs recent market turbulence to last long.
¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.