Citi confirmed yesterday that it has appointed Duncan Phillips and Terence Chia as co-heads of its debt syndicate desk for Asia ex-Japan. Both will continue to report to Benjamin Ng, head of Asia-Pacific syndicate and acquisition finance.
The move was triggered by former head of Asia debt syndicate Paul Au's resignation in late April. Au is set to start a new job as head of debt syndicate for Asia at UBS this month.
The decision to have two people co-manage the desk moves away from the previous structure, which saw Chia reporting directly to Au. The new structure is designed to double the senior level manpower. At this stage, there are no definite plans to expand the team further. "If the resources are lacking to cope with the pipeline, then it might be on the tables to hire," said one source. "Right now, the bank is just working on the new set-up and there are no prospects to expand in the immediate future."
Phillips moved to Hong Kong following Au's resignation and has been co-managing the desk with Chia since then. At the time, the reshuffle was, however, announced as a temporary solution until a permanent replacement could be found for Au.
The formal appointment means that Phillips relinquishes his former role as head of Japan debt syndicate -- a position he has held for the past five years. Prior to his time in Japan, Phillips was with Citi's debt capital markets division in London. He joined Citi in 2002.
Chia has been with the firm for six-and-a- half years as a management associate in the fixed-income division. He spent his first four years with debt capital markets in both Singapore and Hong Kong and has been working on the debt syndicate desk for the past two years.
According to Dealogic, Citi has helped clients from Asia ex-Japan raise $3.1 billion from 29 debt deals so far this year. The bank is currently in sixth place in the league tables for G3 currency deals, after raising $2.7 billion from 18 deals year-to-date. Most recently Citi was one of the arrangers on Li & Fung $400 million bond that priced on May 7.