According to several sources, Arthur van Dijk, who is currently a vice-president on the Asia-Pacific equity syndicate desk in Hong Kong, will move to Singapore and take up a new role focused on equity origination for Southeast Asia. His fellow VP on the Hong Kong syndicate desk, Damien Brosnan, will also move to the origination side, but with a focus on equity-linked issuance, joining one associate and an analyst currently working on this product.
Van Dijk and Brosnan will take up their new positions in January.
Akram Zaman, who is currently a member of the ECM syndicate in New York but has previously been based in Asia, will transfer to Hong Kong by the end of the year to fill the gap on the syndicate desk left by the departure of van Dijk and Brosnan. Consistency will be ensured by the fact that Justin Haik, a managing director, will remain head of ECM syndicate for Asia-Pacific.
Meanwhile, Nathan McMurtray, who moved to Asia in 2005 to focus on the origination of equity-linked transactions, including convertible bonds, will be leaving the firm.
The credit crunch over the past year has made it extremely difficult to issue CBs, especially for Asian issuers that have no available stock borrow. Several investment banks have tried to come up with structured solutions to work around this and McMurtrayÆs previous expertise in structuring CBs in the US allowed Morgan Stanley to carve out a bit of a niche for itself in the mid-cap section of the market with transactions for the likes of Solarfun Power Holdings, Asia Cement and LDK Solar. McMurtrayÆs pending departure is unlikely to change that focus, as evidenced by the fact that Brosnan also has a background in the US CB market and Zaman will be bringing a further US perspective to the syndicate desk.
Van DijkÆs transfer to Singapore further underlines that Morgan Stanley is treating this as an important market. Two weeks ago, the investment bank announced that Kate Richdale had been promoted to CEO for Southeast Asia and would also serve as head of investment banking for Southeast Asia. Morgan Stanley was granted a license to offer a full range of onshore investment banking, underwriting and brokerage services in Indonesia in November, and it seems likely that the firm is now positioning itself to make the most of that. Bankers at the firm say they expect to be more active with regard to deals in Indonesia in 2009. The US investment bank also formed a securities joint venture, Morgan Stanley Gateway Securities, in Vietnam in early 2008 which will offer investment banking advisory and underwriting, brokerage services and research. It will also engage in principal investing.
On the equity side, Morgan Stanley was the sole international bookrunner for Esso (Thailand)Æs $268 million Bangkok IPO this year and also acted as an international placement agent for Adaro EnergyÆs $1.3 billion IPO in Indonesia.
While the reshuffle means that the firmÆs successful equity syndicate team will part ways, the current downturn and slowdown in market activity may well be the right time to offer new challenges to key staff members to ensure they stay motivated. And while van Dijk and Brosnan will have new roles, they will still be part of the same team.
Van Dijik joined Morgan StanleyÆs ECM origination team in London in 2001 straight out of university, and transferred to his current role in Hong Kong at the beginning of 2005.
Brosnan joined the firm in New York in 2001 and arrived in Asia in 2005. His previous experience spans across various ECM roles.
Zaman, who is a native Australian, also joined Morgan Stanley in New York in 2001, but was based in Singapore in 2002-2003 and in Hong Kong in 2003-2004. After a two-year break to complete an MBA, he rejoined the firm in New York in July 2006 and is currently an associate on the ECM syndicate desk there.
Morgan Stanley is fourth in the overall equity league table for Asia ex-Japan this year with a market share of about 6%, having slipped from third spot in 2007, according to Dealogic data. It tops the mid-cap table with a 16% share of arranged deals û well ahead of Credit Suisse in second place with a 7.5% market share. The firm has also been priding itself for being able to close all equity deals it has launched this year, in spite of the oftentimes hugely volatile and difficult markets û showing that it can be relied on to help clients raise financing even during tough times.