Standard Chartered has hired Peter Szekely to run its global high-yield product group, a source within the bank has confirmed. Szekely is expected to report to Henrik Raber, Standard Chartered’s global head of debt capital markets.
The bank has been searching for someone to run its high-yield team since Sameer Sopori, the bank’s former global high-yield head, left abruptly last month. According to one person familiar with the situation, Sopori left over a difference of opinion regarding strategies for the high-yield team.
Szekely is joining Standard Chartered from independent advisory firm StormHarbour. According to its website, StormHarbour hired Szekely in 2009 to set up its Hong Kong office, covering North Asia. In addition to his role as head of the Hong Kong office, he is also responsible for structuring and execution of transactions in North Asia and Australia.
Before StormHarbour, Szekely was a managing director at Morgan Stanley in the US firm’s leveraged finance team. He was hired in 2006 to set up and run Morgan Stanley’s leveraged loans business for Asia-Pacific, including Japan and Australia, and focused on leveraged buyouts and mezzanine and situational financing. Prior to that, Szekely worked as a director at Credit Suisse and headed up the Hong Kong leveraged finance business.
Standard Chartered was almost non-existent in Asia’s high-yield debt market just a few years ago, but it has swiftly climbed the league tables during the past two years — thanks in part to the effective use of its balance sheet in landing deals.
Indeed, rivals complain that Standard Chartered has cut fees and lent money to borrowers to win deals, but the bank has nevertheless established its high-yield bond franchise from scratch in a short period of time.
According to Dealogic, the bank is ranked fifth in Asia ex-Japan high-yield dollar bond league tables year-to-date. The bank ranked sixth last year, and in 2009 was not among the top 10 banks.
Elsewhere, in a separate announcement, Rothschild has appointed Alistair Dick as its head of debt advisory and restructuring in Australia and New Zealand. The appointment is expected to strengthen the firm’s presence in debt markets in the Asia-Pacific region. Dick joined Rothschild in 1993 and was previously with Rothschild in Australia from 2001 to 2004, working in the natural resources sector.
Since 2005, Dick has been part of Rothschild’s European debt advisory and restructuring team, where he advised on several significant transactions in Europe and the Middle East, notably the restructuring of Dubai World.