Morgan Stanley re-configures debt team

Bob Voreyer becomes head of debt origination as the US investment bank adopts a new approach to the fixed income business in Asia.
Voreyer, who has spent the past decade in Asia, becomes the new head of an integrated high yield and high grade group. A trader by background with 18 years on the clock at Morgan Stanley, he previously ran high yield debt alongside Michael Dee, his counterpart at high grade debt and now based in Singapore.

By integrating the two product lines along lines mirroring a global re-alignment of Morgan Stanley’s capital markets business, the group believes it will have greater scope to take a more broad-brush approach to debt financing in Asia. Instead of pigeonholing specialists, the aim is rather to develop a more integrated approach, enabling greater synergies and a more pro-active stance to winning business.

BobVoreyerVoreyer (pictured) describes it as taking a more finely woven net and spreading it over a much wider area. Indeed, at a time of slim pickings for the Asia's debt capital markets professionals, it would seem to make far more sense to actively find new areas of business, rather than wait for the RFP (request for proposals) to arrive.

In seeking to continue asserting Morgan Stanley as Asia's pre-eminent debt house, the group wants to become a point of contact for any liability management issue that might arise in corporate or sovereign Asia. Beyond this, it also wants to take a fresh look at its clients' balance sheets and ask the kind of questions that a CFO might not have time to focus on.  

As Voreyer puts it, "We don’t want to take the standard approach of just telling CFO’s they have bonds about to mature in a couple of months time. We want to take a much closer look at their financials, showing them, for example, that they have debt covenants which might crush their business a couple of years down the line. We want to find market inefficiencies they can exploit and so on."

The new DCM team is said to have been structured like an hourglass. Voreyer and four principals will sit at the top, with two vice presidents in the middle and a pool of associates and analysts at the bottom, able to move across all product areas. "You could look at it as an integration of fungible resources at the bottom and an intellectual integration at the top," he explains.

The four principals comprise: Kate Richdale, who has previously covered Greater China and the Philippines, embracing a long list of close client relationships: Brendan McAssey, a structured derivatives product specialist based in Sydney; Max Blandon, who recently re-located from New York and is leveraged finance expert; and Simon Morgan, also a new recruit from New York, who is a bank capital and structured products expert.

Morgan and Blandon both partially fill a void created by the departures of Rod Sykes, Oliver Jory and Michael Dee, three of Asia's long-standing DCM stalwarts. Sykes has now crossed the line to ECM in Hong Kong, while Jory recently moved back to London, where he will work in debt origination. Finally Dee, one of Morgan Stanley’s most colourful and voluble bankers, left to run its Singapore operations at the beginning of the year.

Similar to debt origination, sales and trading have also been reassembled under the lead of Jim Moonier, based in Singapore. Rather than have three separate teams for fixed income, commodities and foreign exchange, there will now be one reporting line up to Moonier, who has been with the bank for 15 years and previously run commodities trading.  Here, the move has been partially prompted by the re-location of the bank’s head of fixed income sales, Vic Garber who is moving back to New York.

Asia’s DCM re-organization matches that of Morgan Stanley’s global fixed income business, which is in the process of streamlining its many product areas into two distinct groups; interest rate risk and credit risk. By bringing product lines back together, the back believes that it will not only remove overlap and inefficiencies, but also create a far more potent strategic force.
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