Ranobir Mukherji jumps from UBS to BoA Merrill

The senior debt capital markets banker decides to tie his fortunes to Bank of America Merrill Lynch rather than UBS.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has poached Ranobir Mukherji to run Asia debt capital markets.

Mukherji resigned from UBS, where he was in the same role, last month and is currently on gardening leave. He is expected to start at BoA Merrill in February and will be based in Singapore, said sources close to the situation. Mukherji will be a managing director at BoA Merrill.

He will report to Rick Stoddard, a Merrill veteran with around two decades of experience working at the US investment bank. Stoddard was named head of Asia-Pacific debt capital markets for BoA Merrill late last year. Stoddard's remit includes Australia and Japan, while Mukherji will cover non-Japan Asia. But sources expect Mukherji to spend most of his time on Southeast Asia and India as BoA Merrill already has strong coverage teams in Korea and Hong Kong, and the bank's activity in China is limited on the DCM front.

Mukherji will effectively replace Jon Pratt, who was the head of DCM for Asia at Merrill Lynch. Pratt left in January, in the wake of the restructuring following the merger with Bank of America, and subsequently joined wealth management firm the Rockefeller Group.

Rumours are buzzing that among the enticements offered to Mukherji by BoA Merrill was a large sign-on bonus. However, it is also a fact that BoA Merrill is making a concerted push into the debt arena again and Mukherji may have seen the canvas as an opportunity.

At UBS, the debt capital markets business in Asia has been headed by Steven Barg since last year when the Swiss bank rolled its regional equity and debt capital markets divisions into a global capital markets group. Barg, who earlier headed the Asian equity capital markets business, was charged with running the combined group for Asia. UBS banking analyst Raj Malhotra also moved to the bank's Asia debt capital markets team last year and is based in Singapore.

BoA Merrill and UBS had no comment on this story. Mukherji could not be reached. 

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