Morgan Stanley gains new Asian fixed income head

The US investment bank makes an internal promotion after the departure of Ben Falloon.

Morgan Stanley has promoted Niall Almeida as its new head of fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC) for non-Japan Asia following the departure of Ben Falloon.

According to an internal memo seen by FinanceAsia, Kiwi Falloon has left the bank after nine years to pursue other interests.

He was made Asian FICC head in 2014 after six years as head of non-Japan Asia fixed income sales.

He had gained the role before the promotion of global head, Sam Kellie-Smith, in January 2016.

One of Kellie-Smith's first tasks was overseeing a 25% global pruning of Morgan Stanley's fixed income division. However, it went on to mark 2016 with a strong bounce back.

This resulted in a 167% year-on-year surge in bond trading volumes to $1.47 billion in the fourth quarter, well ahead of management's $1 billion estimate. The bank's total revenues amounted to $9 billion for the quarter.

The turnaround of the fixed income division helped Morgan Stanley post its best fourth quarter profit since the global financial crisis, although analysts attributed much of the boost to trading profits following the unexpected election of Donald Trump as US President. 

Analysts believe the run should continue in 2017, with Soc Gen forecasting the global FICC division to generate $5.4 billion in revenue over the course of the year, up 5% from 2016. The French bank said Morgan Stanley has been gaining market share in recent months after refocusing on its rates business and away from securitization. 

Trading volumes have continued to be strong in the first quarter as issuers rush to market ahead of an expected US interest rate rise in the first quarter. This has also been the case in Asia, where the bank's new fixed income head, Almeida, has been with Morgan Stanley since 2007.

He became a managing director at the end of 2009 and initially helped build out its equities trading business before becoming head of macro trading in 2016. 

The Hong Kong-based banker will also now sit on the firm's Asia Pacific Executive Committee. 

¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.