UBS names co-heads for Asia GCM

The Swiss firm re-hires John Sturmey from RBS and promotes Joseph Chee. Meanwhile, RBS appoints Stanley Ho as head of Asia ECM to fill the vacancy left by Sturmey.
Joseph Chee
Joseph Chee

John Sturmey will be returning to UBS to become co-head of global capital markets (GCM) for Asia. He will work alongside Joseph Chee, who has been appointed to the same role. Sturmey and Chee will replace Steven Barg, who left the firm late last month to join Goldman Sachs.

UBS has once again moved quickly to fill a gap in its ranks, showing that it is intent not to let a few resignations have an impact on the day-to-day running of its business. And yet again, it has turned to in-house talent or, in the case of Sturmey, a banker with a long history at UBS.

Sturmey spent over 10 years with UBS before he left in 2008 to join ABN AMRO as head of ECM for Asia. At the time, ABN was already in the process of being integrated into the Royal Bank of Scotland and, once that was completed, Sturmey took on the same role at RBS. At UBS he was a managing director and head of equity syndicate for Asia between 2004 and 2008 and helped build an ECM franchise that featured in the top two in Dealogic's ECM league tables for Asia ex-Japan in each of the past five years.

Chee is currently head of GCM for China and vice-chairman for China investment banking and has been responsible for building the bank's overall capital markets business in China for the past five years -- a business that is a significant driver of the firm's investment banking revenues in the Asia. Chee has been involved in all of UBS's landmark ECM transactions involving China during this period, including Petrochina's A-share IPO, the Hong Kong IPOs for Bank of China and China Merchants Bank, and the A- and H-share listings of China Pacific Insurance.

Since 2007 he has been based in Beijing and focused primarily on establishing the bank's domestic platform through UBS Securities. UBS owns 20% of the Chinese securities firm, but has management control. According to a source, Chee will retain his current role as head of China GCM and remain responsible for ECM origination for China. He will also keep his vice chairman title.

Last week the bank also re-hired Peter Burnett, a 20-year UBS veteran who has spent more than 15 years in the region, as chairman of GCM for Asia. While his appointment was in the works well before the bank knew about the recent departures, the timing was fortunate and, following Sturmey's and Chee's appointments, UBS once again has a leadership team in place with significant ECM experience in the region. To fill the gap left vacant by the departure of ECM head Mark Williams, the bank last month moved Stuart Mackay into a new role as head of ECM origination for Asia ex-China and brought Sam Kendall back from London to replace Mackay as head of equity syndicate for Asia.

Sturmey and Chee will report to Matthew Koder who is global head of GCM. Koder is based in London, but spends about half his time in Asia.

Meanwhile, RBS also moved quickly and yesterday announced that it has appointed Stanley Ho as the new head of ECM for Asia, following Sturmey's resignation the day before. Ho, who has a background with UBS, joined RBS as head of ECM for North Asia in 2008 after a stint with ICH, a Singapore-based financial advisory firm. He has 10 years of experience in ECM origination and syndication across Asia.

Ho will report to Peter Irvine, who is head of equities and structured retail for Asia-Pacific, and to Matthew Kirkby, the firm's global head of equities origination and corporate finance. He will also have an additional reporting line to John Mullins, regional head of banking for Asia-Pacific. 

RBS has also hired Simon Qu as co-head of ECM for China to work alongside its existing co-head Alan Tan. Qu was most recently a director of greater China origination and execution with Deutsche Bank and has previously also worked at Merrill Lynch, Bank of China and Goldman Sachs.

He will be based in Hong Kong and will report to Ho.

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