Morgan Stanley boosts Asian headcount

The US firm announces a reorganisation of the general industries group and adds staff in Southeast Asia.
In a major reshuffling of its Asian operations, Morgan Stanley is shifting key personnel within the region, and bringing in bankers from offshore. The key areas affected are the general industries group (GIG) and Southeast Asia.

Kate Richdale will come in to run the important general industries group, a role that was left vacant when Matt Hanning departed for UBS. Richdale, who has been with Morgan Stanley for seven years, had previously held senior roles in capital markets and Southeast Asian investment banking. Richdale grew up in Hong Kong and has worked with many GIG clients in Southeast Asia.

The move is viewed as positive for Richdale, especially since GIG is reckoned to have comprised 45% of Morgan StanleyÆs investment banking revenues this year û the biggest of any sector group.

Within the GIG group, Deborah Mei will continue to look after clients in the retail, industrial and consumer products area, and is joined by David Aronovitch, who moves from Morgan Stanley in London, and will also work with clients in the consumer products area.

Chris Huang will take charge of the oil and gas sector, and will also oversee the global power and utilities group. New hire Jim Shi will focus on the building materials group sector. The mainland Chinese-born banker û who groomed his skills in Australia û joins as an executive director from UBS.

In another major move, co-head of M&A, Rohit Sipahimalani will relocate to Singapore where he will become head of investment banking for Southeast Asia. Sipahimalani will retain his role as co-head of Asia-Pacific M&A with Ed King - who will remain based in Hong Kong.

For Sipahimalani the move gives him an opportunity to run his own team in a growth area for the US firm. Additionally it will locate him closer to India and the Indian clients he has historically covered.

Joining Sipahimalani in Singapore are four rising stars in the Morgan Stanley universe, who will relocate from other parts of the world. Simon Hermann will move from London to cover Southeast Asian financial institutions; Greg Thierry also moves from London to cover media and communications clients; Troy Little moves from Tokyo to focus on Southeast Asian GIG; and Tom Serong moves from Sydney to focus on utilities, infrastructure and Southeast Asia GIG execution.

Morgan Stanley, which has not had a strong presence in Indonesia, sees potential to grow its Southeast Asian footprint and these moves reflect as much.

"We are seeing continued strong momentum across the whole region and tremendous business opportunities," says Morgan Stanley's investment banking head, Matthew Ginsburg. "Year-to-date our investment banking headcount has increased by over 20%."
¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.