RBS's Asia primary markets head Guy Wylie to leave banking

Wylie to leaving banking industry and Asia, citing family reasons, with RBS set to announce a replacement soon.

Guy Wylie, managing director and head of primary markets for Asia Pacific at Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), is to leave the bank in two months after only joining in January.

“I will be leaving Asia and the banking industry,” Wylie told FinanceAsia. "I have a deep respect for the bank and the team but have to leave for family reasons," he added.

Wylie declined to say where he is headed, but RBS will be announcing a replacement soon, according to a spokeswoman for the bank.

His role as head of primary markets Asia Pacific was a newly-created one at RBS and was described in a statement at the time of his joining as one that “brings the financial institutions origination and the debt capital markets (DCM) and syndicate teams together”.

His responsibilities include chairing the Asia-Pacific credit markets management committee, which provides oversight and coordination of the debt capital markets, loan and bond syndicate, and the credit trading, sales, research and mortgage businesses. He reports to Pierre Ferland, Asia-Pacific head of markets, and Madan Menon, Asia-Pacific head of international banking. Ferland will assume Wylie’s role until a replacement is appointed. 

Wylie had previously worked at UBS as its head of debt capital markets for Asia before he left the Swiss bank in June last year. Prior to UBS, he had worked at RBS’s London loan team in 2005.

He has 20 years of experience in banking and corporate restructuring and, prior to UBS, had spent several years with JP Morgan and Arthur Andersen in Australia.

RBS has seen its fair share of departures during the past few months, with bankers heading to rival firms.

In March, the bank's Asia head of debt capital markets, Augusto King, quit the bank to join rival bank Jefferies. Last month, Vincent Wong, an executive director, also left the bank, as did Rogerio Bernardo, a Singapore-based director on the bond syndicate desk. Both are headed to rival banks, according to sources.

The number of its debt bankers (including loans and bond bankers) have fallen from the low 60s as of the end of last year to the mid-40s this year, according to a person familiar with the matter. This brings the team more into inline with the size of most other debt teams in the region. The fall includes convertible bond bankers, who were not longer counted as RBS headcount when it exited its cash equities and equity capital markets business.

Nonetheless, Ferland emphasised the bank's commitment to Asia in an interview with FinanceAsia. "Debt capital markets remains a core part of our franchise in Asia. We are definitely here to stay," said Ferland.

RBS is four years into its five-year plan to reshape the bank, focusing on its traditional strength in fixed income, across rates, currencies, asset-backed products, debt financing, transaction services and risk management solutions. 

"We are product agnostic and we work closely with clients for the best funding solution.  This year, we have seen greater volume in the loan markets; our loans business has been more than what it was in the past three years combined," he added.

Chinese companies have turned to foreign lenders for loans during the past few months, amid a domestic liquidity crunch. RBS has been involved in a number of loan transactions, including a $1 billion underwriting commitment to the mainland's largest meat processing company Shuanghui for its acquisition of Smithfield Foods and a $400 million commitment to Alibaba for its $8 billion acquisition re-financing.

According to Dealogic data, RBS’s ranking in dollar loans for Asia ex Japan has risen to sixth place from 18th place last year. It is ranked in 12th place for dollar bonds for Asia ex-Japan, improving slightly from 13th place last year.

Wylie joins a growing number of bankers that are stepping outside of investment banking. In June last year, Patrick Tsang, head of Asia fixed income capital markets at Deutsche Bank also announced that he was leaving the industry to focus on a local charitable foundation, as well as to hone his golf swing.



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