Mark Williams leaves UBS for Nomura

UBS's head of Asia ECM quits to join Nomura where he will head and rebuild the firm's ECM franchise in the region following the departure of Geoff Feldkamp earlier this year.

Mark Williams, the head of equity capital markets for Asia at UBS, has resigned and will join Nomura as head of ECM for Asia ex-Japan, sources familiar with the move said yesterday.

Williams has been with UBS for close to 15 years, the past 10 in Hong Kong. During this time, UBS has grown to a powerhouse in the Asian ECM market, and Williams has been involved in many of the key transactions in the region while at the firm.

It is thus an experienced name that Nomura has poached to lead the rebuilding of its ECM franchise in Asia following the departure of Geoffrey Feldkamp in March this year. Feldkamp was one of the bankers who came to Nomura as part of its takeover of Lehman Brothers' Asian operations in 2008 and who left once the final instalment of the two-year guaranteed bonus was paid earlier this year. Feldkamp had been head of ECM for Asia ex-Japan at Lehman and then Nomura since January 2008.

The Nomura ECM team has also lost a number of other bankers in the past couple of years and Williams will be charged with rebuilding the team. He will also be using the pitching skills he has honed at UBS to start winning some more equities business for the Japanese firm in Asia. The challenge involved in such an endeavour is believed to have been one reason why Williams has decided to move firms, according to sources.

Williams will be based in Hong Kong and will report to Patrick Schmitz-Morkramer, Nomura's head of investment banking for Asia ex-Japan who moved to Asia from Europe earlier this year. He is expected to start in early August after a three-month gardening leave.

Williams has led the ECM department at UBS since June 2008, initially as co-head together with Sutha Kandiah and more recently on his own after Kandiah left a few months ago. Before he joined the ECM department at UBS in Hong Kong some 10 years ago, he was with UBS in Sydney.   

A spokesman for UBS declined to comment either on Williams's move or on who may replace him. Industry sources note, however, that UBS typically prefers to fill key positions like this one from within its own ranks rather than hiring someone externally.

Nomura also declined to comment. 

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