Nomura has transferred Nikhil Nath to Hong Kong and appointed him head of mergers and acquisitions for Asia ex-Japan, according to a release.
Nath is currently a managing director and senior client-coverage officer in investment banking, based in Mumbai. He focuses on the general industries sector, financial sponsors and the coverage of Nomura's industrial sector clients in Southeast Asia. Earlier, Nath headed M&A for Lehman Brothers in India. He began his career at Lehman in New York in 2000 and has also worked with Lehman in Tokyo and Hong Kong.
"Growing our M&A franchise is an integral part of developing our investment banking footprint in Asia, and we expect corporate and financial sponsor activity in the region to be robust," said Patrick Schmitz-Morkramer, Nomura's head of investment banking for Asia ex-Japan in a written statement.
Nath is in the process of relocating to Hong Kong, said a Nomura spokesperson, but has already started in his new role.
Nomura has taken some time to fill its top M&A job in the region. Colin Banfield, who was head of M&A as well as co-head of investment banking together with Schmitz-Morkramer, resigned in March to join Citi. At Citi Banfield is head of M&A for Asia-Pacific, a position Citi had been looking to fill since Steven Wallace vacated the post in September last year.
Banfield was not the only M&A banker to jump ship this year. In June, Barclays Capital poached Ed King, who used to head M&A at Morgan Stanley, to strengthen its M&A capabilities. King was appointed head of M&A for Asia-Pacific and took up his new role in October. Also in October, Bank of America Merrill Lynch hired Zhang Xiuping from Deutsche Bank to co-head M&A for Asia alongside Michael Cho.
Banks are strengthening their M&A capabilities in anticipation of blockbuster M&A revenues from the region. However, reality has belied expectations before and even in a year like 2007 when Asia outbound M&A was at a peak, revenues from M&A significantly lagged behind those from equities. This year bankers reckon around two-thirds of the investment banking wallet was derived from equities, followed by debt and with M&A bringing up the rear. However, predictions are that M&A will be a key driver of debt issuance in 2011 and that the overall revenue pool from M&A will be higher as a result.