MF Global Holdings has made a significant addition to its growing business in Asia with the hire of former World Bank senior economist Louis Kuijs as its chief economist in the region.
The US-headquartered broker-dealer, which specialises in commodities, said the hire is in line with the firm’s ongoing transition into an investment bank and will strengthen its global macro research platform in a region characterised both by rapid growth and rapid change.
Kuijs will be based in Hong Kong and will be responsible for providing the firm’s clients with insights into macroeconomic developments and key policy actions that drive the financial markets in Asia. His commentary will complement the analysis provided by MF Global’s US chief economist, James O’Sullivan, who leads the firm’s macro and economic analysis in North America.
“His appointment will strengthen our existing global and regional research capabilities, commentary and thought-leading insights,” said Mike Blomfield, managing director of Asia-Pacific, adding that his new colleague brings “a wealth of experience and understanding” of the Greater China economy and of the policies that drive financial markets in the region.
As a senior economist with the World Bank in Beijing for seven years (since 2004), Kuijs coordinated the bank’s macroeconomic work on China, including analysis and policy dialogue with policymakers, academics and other experts. He was the main author of the World Bank’s China quarterly update and also led its medium-term review of China’s 11th Five Year Plan, which covered the years from 2006 to 2010.
In all, Kuijs has 18 years of experience in macroeconomic analysis and policy work across different regions. Before joining the World Bank in 2004, Kuijs worked as an economist at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC, focusing on macro policy analysis and research. Earlier in his career, he worked on macroeconomic forecasting and modelling on countries in Europe, Latin America and Asia at UK-based Oxford Economic Forecasting.