Morgan Stanley HK coverage banker to join HSBC

Che-Ning Liu is expected to take up a position within HSBC's global banking division focusing on Greater China.

Che-Ning Liu, a Hong Kong-focused client coverage banker with Morgan Stanley, has resigned from the firm and will join HSBC once his gardening leave is over, sources said yesterday. A Morgan Stanley spokesman confirmed that Liu will leave the bank, but was unable to say anything about his future plans.

Liu himself was not available to comment, but according to the sources he will take up a position within HSBC's global banking division with a primary focus on the Greater China markets. His exact position has yet to be determined, they said, but global banking comprises advisory, coverage and client management, which suggests his role will not be too dissimilar to what he was doing at Morgan Stanley, albeit with a slightly broader geographical footprint. His starting date has not been fixed, but he is expected to join sometime in October after a customary three-month gardening leave.

HSBC's global banking division is led by Frank Slevin, who joined the Hong Kong bank from Citi in early 2007.

Liu has been with Morgan Stanley for more than 10 years and has been a managing director since 2001. His departure further underscores the changeover currently underway at Morgan Stanley's investment banking division, which includes both management and senior bankers. Last month, the firm's head of investment banking for Asia-Pacific, Matthew Ginsburg, resigned with sources saying that he is set to assume the same position at Barclays Capital, which had been vacant since early March. Ginsburg has already been replaced by Gokul Laroia and Kate Richdale, who will share the responsibility for the investment banking business in the region as co-heads.

A couple of weeks later, it emerged that senior investment banker Terence Keyes would return to Morgan Stanley after a close to one-year stint as head of corporate finance execution at Merrill Lynch (after Bank of America's take-over of Merrill at the beginning of this year, his title changed to head of the general execution group). Before his departure in April 2008, Keyes had been with Morgan Stanley for 11 years with a particular focus on mergers and acquisitions.

In November last year, Kate Richdale was appointed head of investment banking for Southeast Asia to fill a gap left open when Rohit Sipahimalani resigned a month earlier to join Temasek after 11 years with the US investment bank. Richdale was also appointed CEO for the same region.

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