Mizuho Securities Asia hires new CEO

Former Morgan Stanley investment banker John Paul Armenio joins the Japanese securities firm as it expands its capital markets and M&A franchise in Asia.

Mizuho Securities Asia, a subsidiary of Mizuho Financial Group's securities arm, has hired John Paul Armenio as chairman and CEO effective immediately and has also appointed Yasuhiro Kiuchi as president, the securities firm said in a release yesterday.

Armenio was most recently a managing director of capital markets at Morgan Stanley in New York. Kiuchi has been head of the international department at Mizuho Securities Co since 2007 and before that has held various senior positions within Mizuho Corporate Bank.

Based in Hong Kong, Armenio and Kiuchi will drive the expansion of Mizuho Securities Asia in the region by strengthening its Asian products and building a local and global clientele, drawing on the support from the global networks of its parent company.

Mizuho Securities Asia, which is headquartered in Hong Kong and has about 150 employees, offers securities underwriting and marketing, as well as advisory and asset management services. Within equities, it focuses primarily on trading of Asian equities and the sale of Japanese and Asian equities to institutional and high-net-worth individuals. The firm maintains strong links to its Japanese parent company, Mizuho Securities, and within fixed income, it specialises in the sale of Samurai bonds -- Japanese bonds sold by foreign issuers -- and other core products developed by its parent.

It is also working closely with other members of the Mizuho group to expand its cross-border M&A business in Asia and to develop its investment business through greater access to listed and unlisted equities in various Asian countries. Recently, it has been exploring new business areas in the region, including IPO support and underwriting of Hong Kong equities.

So far this year, Mizuho Securities Asia has been involved as an underwriter below the bookrunner level on the Hong Kong initial public offerings for China Metal Recycling, which raised $231 million, and Come Sure (Group), which raised $10 million. It also acted as a financial adviser to Greentown China Holding on two separate M&A deals, the $202 million acquisition of Hangzhou Greentown Haiqi Property Development and the $79 million takeover of Beijing Laifu Century Property, all according to data provided by Dealogic.

Armenio has prior experience in capital markets, structured products, equity derivatives and financial strategies. He joined Morgan Stanley in 1995, first as executive director focusing on equity derivatives, then as a managing director in the structured products division, and finally as a divisional global head of structured products. He left the US investment bank in 2008. Going further back, he has worked for Bankers Trust and Shuwa Investments Corporation. Over the years, he has been posted to New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Tokyo.

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