UBS appoints co-heads of equities for Asia-Pacific

Shane Gunther and Taichi Takahashi will take joint responsibility for the equities business in the region as CJ Beshke retires.

UBS has appointed Shane Gunther and Taichi Takahashi as co-heads of equities for Asia-Pacific, according to an internal announcement issued late last week. They will replace CJ Beshke, who is retiring after more than 24 years with the bank.

Until this appointment, which took effect immediately, Gunther was head of cash sales for Asia-Pacific, while Takahashi was co-head of equities trading for the same region. They have been with UBS since 1999 and 1994, respectively.

In their new roles, they will work closely with Chi-Won Yoon, who is CEO for Asia-Pacific, and Mike Stewart, head of global equities, as well as the members of the senior management team to identify new strategic opportunities as the firm seeks to expand its client franchise and business reach in Asia-Pacific, the announcement said.

They will also join the global equities executive committee and the Asia-Pacific executive committee. They will report to Stewart, and will also have a regional reporting line to Yoon.

According to the announcement, Beshke informed the bank that he wished to retire several months ago. But at the request of Yoon and Stewart he agreed to stay on until mid-May “in the best interests of the business”, and supposedly to allow them to identify his replacement. He will also be available over the next few weeks to ensure a seamless handover and to transition his responsibilities.

He started his career as a trading assistant with Chicago-based options trading firm O’Connor & Associates in 1989 and stayed with the firm when it was acquired by Swiss Bank Corporation in 1992. Swiss Bank was later merged with Union Bank of Switzerland to form UBS.

After a short stint in London, he transferred to Hong Kong in 1996 and has been based here ever since.

Beshke has held various leadership roles in the region since then, including head of equity trading, before becoming head of equities for Asia-Pacific. In that role, he has been instrumental in building and expanding UBS’s equities footprint in Asia-Pacific over the past few years and has “demonstrated outstanding leadership and made innumerable and invaluable contributions to [the bank’s] business”, the announcement said.

He has also built a strong management team to lead the business.

Gunther has held various roles since he joined UBS in 1999, including head of research for Thailand and Japan. He has also been head of Japan equity sales. Before joining UBS he was an equity analyst at HSBC in Hong Kong and Bangkok, and before that he worked for the audit department at KPMG Peat Marwick in Vancouver and Hong Kong.

Takahashi joined the bank in Tokyo in 1994. Since then he has been head of the Japan trading team and both co-head and sole head of Japan equities. According to the announcement, he has been a driver of numerous successful initiatives in Japan.

Replacements for Gunther and Takahashi will be announced shortly, UBS said.

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