Morgan Stanley appoints Asia M&A co-heads

Morgan Stanley names Richard Wong and James Tam as Asia co-heads of M&A, while Sam Kim is appointed regional vice-chairman of investment banking.

Morgan Stanley has promoted Richard Wong and James Tam to co-heads of M&A for Asia-Pacific, according to an internal bank memo.

Sam Kim, who was previously the head of M&A for Asia-Pacific, has taken on the role as vice-chairman of investment banking for Asia-Pacific. A Morgan Stanley spokesperson confirmed the content of the memo.

Kim has been with Morgan Stanley for more than 15 years, both in Asia and the US.  He was previously chief operating officer for investment banking in Asia-Pacific and worked on a number of landmark transactions before becoming head of Asia-Pacific M&A in 2010.

In his new role, Kim will focus on developing Morgan Stanley’s key client relationships across the region. He will continue to be closely aligned with the M&A department, the memo said.

Wong joined Morgan Stanley in 1998 and has held several leadership roles within the M&A department and was recently deputy head of M&A for the region.  He was appointed managing director in 2010 and has led some of the region’s high profile M&A transactions, including CapitaLand’s $2.5 billion take-private of CapitaMalls Asia and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ's $5.7 billion acquisition of the Bank of Ayudhya.

Tam has been with Morgan Stanley for more than 16 years, having started at the US firm as a summer intern. He has worked both in the New York and Hong Kong offices, in both investment Banking and fixed-income, before joining the M&A department in 2010. 

Sam Kim

Tam was promoted to managing director in 2010 and has helped build Morgan Stanley’s China M&A franchise. He has worked on high profile cross-border deals including Shuanghui International's $7.1 billion acquisition of Smithfield Foods, China Construction Bank's $1 billion acquisition of BICBANCO in Brazil and Giant Interactive's $3 billion take-private.

The promotions come shortly after Morgan Stanley’s chairman of China investment banking Alex To resigned from the firm to join Bank of America Merrill Lynch as its head of China investment banking. To was a key senior banker involved in the coverage of Chinese pork producer WH Group (formerly known as Shuanghui International).

Morgan Stanley was one of two banks, the other being BOC International, which arranged WH Group’s $2.05 billion re-launched IPO in July, after the firm pared down the number of bookrunners from a record 29 to just two.

Morgan Stanley is currently ranked fourth in announced M&A for Asia ex-Japan, according to data provider Dealogic, behind Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Citi. It has advised on $54 billion worth of deals with a 10.8% market share. In terms of completed M&A for Asia ex-Japan, it is ranked first, having advised on $62 billion worth of deals, with a 14.6% share.

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