Samsung Securities International, the Asian arm of Korea’s largest securities firm, continues to build its Hong Kong-based Asian operations and, after an aggressive recruitment drive in equities sales and research in recent months, it has now started to add origination capacity as well. Yesterday, the firm said that it has hired Stephen Metcalfe as a managing director and head of equity capital markets.
Never one to shy away from a challenge, the British banker joins a firm that started to make a serious push outside Korea just over a year ago, but which has set itself a five-year goal of building an equity client franchise that is among the top three to five in the region.
Metcalfe, who started his new job yesterday, returns to investment banking after more than three years outside the industry. During this time he has been involved in a number of different investment projects, including Indian real estate, distressed assets in the UK, wine broking and film.
His most recent job in the industry was as co-head of ECM for Asia ex-Japan at Nomura – a role that saw him help raise the profile of the Japanese firm in the Asian equities markets long before it acquired Lehman Brothers’ businesses in the region. Metcalfe spent almost three years with Nomura before he resigned in June 2007.
Prior to that he worked five years with Credit Suisse as head of Southeast Asian ECM and head of syndicate. He started his career in Asia in 1994 with S.G. Warburg (then SBC Warburg Dillon Read) which later morphed into UBS and also spent a year in Tokyo with that firm before joining Credit Suisse in October 1999.
His background means that he already knows the senior people at Samsung well, having worked with the firm’s new chief executive, Sung June Hwang, at Credit Suisse and its head of investment banking and principal investments, Paul Chong, at SBC Warburg. Hwang was previously head of non-Japan equities and head of Asia-Pacific equities distribution at Credit Suisse and was instrumental in building its equities business in the region. He joined Samsung in early August to drive its expansion and help it fulfil its ambitions in the region. Samsung opened its Hong Kong office in August 2009.
Chong, who also has a background with Goldman Sachs and Macquarie, has already been dabbling in the ECM markets, completing a few IPOs and placements for small and mid-cap Hong Kong and Chinese companies and the firm supposedly has a pipeline of deals for Metcalfe to execute and build on.
For now, Metcalfe is the only one at Samsung specifically focused on ECM, although within the investment banking and principal investment team there are several people with related experience. However, he is expected to make additional hires to build an ECM team.