RBS names new management for Asian equities

The new team includes internal transfers as well as two new hires as RBS places its mark on the business it acquired from ABN AMRO last year.
The Royal Bank of Scotland Group has reshuffled some of the senior roles within its Asian equities division and made two new hires to further strengthen this business, according to a press release issued yesterday. The equities business became part of the group after RBS's takeover of ABN AMRO last year.

Setting off the round of changes is the move by David Roberts, currently head of Asian equities, to a new role as manager of a newly established Asian media fund in which RBS is the largest investor. The fund has already acquired stakes in a number of Asian media companies within the bankÆs principal portfolio.

Roberts will be succeeded as head of Asian equities by Peter Irvine, who will relocate from London. Meanwhile, David Sarkis, currently head of Asian equity trading, will move to Tokyo to become head of equities for Japan. He will be replaced by new hire Kin Cheung, who will also take on a dual role as deputy head of equities for Asia.

RBS has also hired Peter Hilton from Credit Suisse to fill a long-vacant position as head of Asian equities research.

Commenting on the new appointments, which he says brings an ôextensive wealth of experience in equities as an asset classö, global head of equities Frank McKirgan notes that Asia will continue to be a major part of the bankÆs global equity business. He says that these appointments are an important step in ensuring that the bank maximises its opportunities in the region.

Irvine, who will move to Hong Kong in August, has more than 11 years of experience in equities within ABN AMROÆs equity derivatives and equity finance businesses globally. He is currently responsible for the bankÆs global equity finance and collateral trading business û a role he will keep even after becoming head of Asian equities. In his new job, which will see him report to McKirgan, he will look to accelerate the growth of the bankÆs equities business with the aim of making RBS ôa leading participant in the Asian equities markets and a trusted and innovative counterparty for clients,ö to quote the press release.

Cheung joins from Bear Stearns where he was head of equities for Japan and head of trading for Asia and helped build a diversified sales and trading business from scratch. He brings with him more than 18 years of trading experience, spanning equities, equity derivatives and fixed-income derivatives in the US and Asia. He will be based in Hong Kong and report to both Irvine and the bankÆs global head of equity trading, Ali Ahmed.

Hilton was a senior member of the Asian research management team at Credit Suisse. He has 21 years experience in equity research, including rankings as the top regional transport and conglomerate analyst. He too will be based in Hong Kong and will report to Irvine and Michael Baptista, global head of core equities.

ô[Hilton] brings in-depth knowledge and expertise as well as structure, process, commercial sense and discipline to our product and to its delivery. He will be responsible for building a research business of greater scale, profile and profitability,ö says Baptista in a written comment.

Meanwhile, up in Japan, Sarkis will set out to create a business that, according to the release, can take full advantage of the opportunities provided by the second largest equity market in the world and play a full part in RBSÆs Asian growth plans. Sarkis has 17 years of experience in equities and has previously spent time in Japan. He will report to Lee Knight, the firmÆs head of global banking and markets for Japan and Korea.

With these new hires and appointments, RBS has filled all the senior roles within the equities and equities capital markets divisions post the ABN AMRO acquisition. The next priority will likely be finding a new head of M&A for Asia to replace Jason Rynbeck who, along with four other senior investment bankers, defected to Barclays Capital in May.
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