Mason, who focused on leverage lending, is understood to have opted to work for Carlyle, a private equity house based in Hong Kong. According to sources, he will head up its mezzanine debt fund, with a view to investing capital in different mezzanine tranches as and when transactions in the region occur. Mason will not be replaced and Donahue will become sole head of SLF.
However, JPMorgan appears confident the SLF business group will remain strong, with its total of 16 staff in Asia ex-Japan. The bankÆs SLF group now numbers one managing director in Donahue, three executive directors, four vice-presidents, five associates and three analysts.
JPMorgan has been consolidating its SLF business over the last nine months, with a string of appointments. Donahue moved to Asia from JPMorgan New York where he was one of the leaders of JPMorgan's high-yield business in the US. In addition, Graham Conran arrived in Hong Kong as executive director and Nigel Walder as vice-president. The pair was also brought out from New York and London respectively, as part of the bankÆs commitment to the leveraged finance business across Asia, Australia and Japan.
Chris Nicholas, Asia head of credit market at JPMorgan, says: ôThe pace of activity is picking up, and while there is no question that Asia is still a comparatively small market, we expect, like many, considerable growth and expansion in the coming years. We want to position ourselves at the forefront of this development.ö
The bank was number one in both global leveraged loans and high-yield bonds in 2005 and 2006. ôWe would like to replicate that success here in Asia,ö continues Nicholas.