UBS credit hire

UBS lures Li-Woon Lim from Merrill

Li-Woon Lim, head of credit sales and trading at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, jumps ship to UBS.

UBS has poached Li-Woon Lim from Bank of America Merrill Lynch to take on the role of co-head of Asia fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC) emerging markets trading.

Lim announced his departure from BoA Merrill last week and is now on gardening leave. He will join UBS in early August, said a source close to the situation. Lim began his investment banking career at Merrill Lynch and has spent almost a decade with the firm. He joined the US investment bank in August 2001. Before that he worked for around three years at Bain Consulting.

Credit sales and trading is an integral part of the fixed-income business and it is not surprising that UBS is trying to build its capabilities in this area. Lim will co-head Asia FICC emerging markets trading with Bala Venkatesan. He will report to Can Uran and Ritesh Dutta. Uran joined UBS in September as global co-head of FICC alongside Dutta. Uran joined from BoA Merrill where he was head of emerging markets credit trading, so he would have been familiar with Lim and has probably spearheaded the hire. Regionally, Lim will report to Thomas Siegmund and Shahryar Mahbub.

Lim will be based in Singapore, which is also where Venkatesan is based. He will be a member of the UBS global emerging markets management committee as well as the Asia Pacific FICC executive committee, said a source close to the situation.

Lim might have been attracted to UBS by the opportunity to build a pan-Asian business, said a source, and by the lure of a potentially larger role in the emerging markets platform. Lim was designated managing director and head of credit sales and trading at BoA Merrill.

UBS is attempting to add talent from banks across the street as it seeks to rebuild parts of its franchise and strengthen others. Ross Baildon was recently appointed head of equity syndicate for Asia, replacing Sam Kendall who was promoted to head of Asia equity capital markets last month. Baildon, who was with Credit Suisse, is currently on gardening leave. Also last month, UBS also hired Kenneth Kwok from Deutsche Bank to help it sell investment banking products to wealthy private banking clients.

BoA Merrill had no comment on the departure of Lim, or who will replace him. UBS had no comment.

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