UBS creates new Asia debt-financing group

The Swiss banking giant is merging its debt capital markets and leverage finance operations.

UBS has created a new Asia debt-financing group by merging its debt capital markets and leverage finance operations in the region, according to an internal memo seen by FinanceAsia on Thursday.

Patrick Liu and Deepak Dangayach will be co-heads of the newly created unit, the statement said. Prior to the appointment, Liu was the co-head of debt capital markets for Asia, while Dangayach will join the firm in April from Deutsche Bank.

UBS's latest move to streamline the investment banking operations come after the Swiss bank last month imposed a global pay freeze on its 5,200 investment banking staff, which will be reviewed in the second quarter depending on market conditions and business results.

Since restructuring in 2012, UBS has put more emphasis on expanding its wealth management businesses and shifting importance away from its investment bank.

Liu and Dangayach will report to Saurabh Beniwal and Joseph Chee, UBS’s co-heads of investment banking in Asia, as well as to Gaetano Bassolino, head of DCM and client solutions for Asia-Pacific region, who relocated to Hong Kong from London in November.

Before joining UBS in 2009, Liu worked in the DCM teams of Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse and spent his career in corporate finance in Singapore and credit lending in Beijing.

Dangayach was most recently Deutsche’s head of high yield and leveraged debt capital markets in Asia. He has over a decade of experience in Asia across bonds, leveraged/acquisition financing and structured/mezzanine financing.

“Driving growth in our financing products is a strategic priority for the business,” Beniwal and Chee said in the memo. “We have a fantastic client franchise in the region across corporate client solutions (CCS) and wealth management within which we see an increasingly attractive opportunity to provide tailored financing solutions.”

UBS’s investment banking advisory business is known as CCS, which encompasses capital markets and advisory. It is separate from the bank’s secondary markets trading businesses.

According to data-tracking firm Dealogic, UBS was ranked 21st in the Asia ex-Japan DCM league table last year, raising $14.6 billion in 73 transactions.

Deutsche duo depart

In other news, Deutsche Bank reportedly lost two of its most senior bankers in the region.

Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg said Bill Nichol, head of the financial institutions group in Asia Pacific at Deutsche Bank, plans to leave in May after more than 13 years with the German bank.

Joaquin Rodriguez Torres, who joined Deutsche Bank a decade ago and is head of technology, media and telecom investment banking for Asia, was also said to be in discussions to leave the firm and is considering setting up his own fund.

A Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for Deutsche Bank could not be immediately reached for comment.

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