Natixis nabs Ken Lee for bond syndicate

Veteran banker Kenneth Lee is returning to the debt syndicate business, having been hired by Natixis to run its team in Asia.

French bank Natixis has hired Kenneth Lee as its new head of debt syndicate in Asia Pacific, bringing back a veteran syndicate banker who previously ran the bond desk at Barclays.

Natixis announced the hire on Wednesday, filling a position left open after the exit of John Wade, a former Royal Bank of Scotland banker who had run Natixis’ Asia syndicate desk since late 2015. Wade left the firm in January.

Lee is perhaps best known to issuers, investors and rivals for his time running Barclays Capital’s Asian syndicate desk. He worked at Barclays between 2003 and 2013 and spent several years in the top job. His number two at the time, Ken Wei Wong, has now taken over Barclays’ Asia bond syndicate team.

But Lee has also been busy on his time away from bank syndicate. He left Barclays to help set-up a credit investment fund called Ark One alongside Jeffrey Yap, former head of Asia fixed income trading at Mizuho Secutities.

In December 2015, around two years after Ark One was established, the founders sold it to Hong Kong’s Sunway International for $5 million.

Lee joins Natixis at a time when the French bank appears to be committing more resources to bonds in Asia.

Natixis moved its European structured credit guru Emanuel Lefort to Hong Kong at the end of last year, making him its new head of global markets in Asia Pacific. Last month, Natixis added David So and Maureen Yu to run its bond origination efforts.

Lee will report to Bruno Le Saint, head of global finance and co-head of investment banking in Asia Pacific, and Viet-Linh Ha Truc, head of fixed income and commodities, Asia Pacific.

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