Mark Whitcroft is about to join the debt syndicate desk at Deutsche Bank in May after resigning from the equivalent desk at HSBC, sources say. In his new position as a debt syndicate manager he will focus on the origination and distribution of international bonds for issuers across Asia and will report to Herman van den Wall Bake who is co-head of global risk syndicate for Asia with a focus on G3 debt.
van den Wall Bake took on joint responsibility for heading up the syndicate desk together with Jan Wipplinger, who specialises in medium-term note programmes and local currency issues, in February after the previous syndicate head, Mark Leahy, resigned.
While he will not replace Leahy per se, Whitcroft will bring the headcount at Deutsche's debt syndicate desk back to the level it was before Leahy left, which shows the bank is not using Leahy's departure as an excuse to reduce the size of the team. The debt syndicate team also includes associate Zuzana Kucerova.
Whitcroft has been with HSBC for about five-and-a-half years, including one year in London and the rest in Hong Kong where he most recently worked under syndicate head Sean Henderson. His new job at Deutsche Bank will see him relocate to Singapore.
During his time on HSBC's syndicate desk, Whitcroft has been part of the bank's rise from being viewed primarily as a local currency bond house (led by its dominance in the Hong Kong dollar market), into a bank that is equally solid when it comes to international issues. The bank moved from sixth place in the Asia G3 bookrunner rankings in 2007 to the top spot last year. During the course of 2008 it was a lead manager in almost twice as many individual deals as its closest rival, and participated as a bookrunner in four out of the six transactions worth $1 billion or more.
Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank has been strong on G3 issuance in Asia for several years and so far this year it is fourth in the league table rankings behind joint Barclays Capital, HSBC and UBS, according to Dealogic. The bank tops the table for G3 investment grade issuance, just ahead of HSBC, after helping to arrange deals for the Korea Development Bank, Export-Import Bank of Korea, Posco and the Republic of Philippines.
Asian bond issuance has seen a sharp revival this year with $9.4 billion raised from the G3 international market in the first quarter -- a 93% increase from the $4.9 billion raised in the first quarter of 2008, and the highest quarterly level since the second quarter of 2007.