Nomura promotion

Williams appointed regional head of investment banking at Nomura

Current head of ECM for Asia ex-Japan Mark Williams is promoted as Patrick Schmitz-Morkramer decides to take a break from the industry.

Less than two years after joining the firm, Mark Williams has been promoted to head of investment banking for Asia ex-Japan at Nomura, according to an internal memo. He is replacing Patrick Schmitz-Morkramer who has decided to retire from the firm and to take a break from the industry.

Williams, who joined Nomura in October 2010 from UBS, is currently head of equity capital markets and corporate equity derivatives in the region. Since he came on board he has been instrumental in re-building Nomura’s ECM franchise in Asia outside Japan, which had lost a number of bankers following the payment of the first and second instalments of a two-year guaranteed bonus that the bank offered in connection with its 2008 acquisition of Lehman Brothers’ operations in Asia.

Nomura is now winning IPO mandates on a regular basis and has become relatively active in block trades. According to the memo, Williams has also strengthened the partnership between ECM and the equities business – essentially sales and trading. When Neeraj Hora resigned in November last year, Williams became responsible for corporate equity derivatives as well, which is a key focus at Nomura. In fact, equity-linked solutions, which include corporate equity derivatives as well as public market equity-linked businesses such as convertible bonds, is viewed as one of the firm’s top five businesses.

Hora was joint global head of equity-linked solutions in Asia ex-Japan when he resigned.

Key transactions that Williams and his team have worked on in the past couple of years include the $1.35 billion IPO of Chongqing Rural Commercial Bank, which was the first Chinese city commercial bank to list in Hong Kong; the IPO of Tesco Lotus, which at $450 million was the largest listing in Thailand since 2006; and the $1.67 billion H-share IPO of Haitong Securities. It has also executed block trades in Korean companies Kumho Petrochemical and Samsung Life among others.

In addition to his new role as head of investment banking, Williams will also take a seat on Nomura’s global investment banking executive committee and on its Asia ex-Japan executive committee. He will also retain his current job as head of ECM in the region, while the bank is looking for a replacement.

Before he joined Nomura, Williams worked at UBS for close to 15 years, the first five years in Sydney and then in Hong Kong. During his 10 years with UBS in Hong Kong, the Swiss bank grew into a powerhouse in the Asian ECM market. Williams became head of the ECM department in June 2008.

While his appointment as head of investment banking is arguably a big step up, sources note that Nomura is a pretty close-knit team and Williams would already have been working closely with the firm’s investment bankers.

Schmitz-Morkramer has been with Nomura, and before that Lehman Brothers, since 1999 and became co-head of investment banking for Asia ex-Japan in early 2010, when he transferred to Asia from Europe. His fellow co-head, Colin Banfield, resigned after less than two months in the job to join Citi as head of M&A for Asia-Pacific.

The memo, which was signed by Philip Lynch, CEO of Asia ex-Japan and Middle East, as well as joint heads of investment banking Hiroyuki Suzuki and William Vereker, said that Schmitz-Morkramer has “assembled a strong team, fostered closer cross-divisional co-operation and deepened the bank’s strong client-centric approach.” Under his leadership the Asia ex-Japan franchise has completed “a number of flagship capital markets and cross border M&A deals” and has increased revenues in a contracting market, they added.

Schmitz-Morkramer has held a number of senior roles at Nomura and Lehman, including country co-head and head of investment banking for Germany/Austria just before he transferred to Asia. Earlier in his career he worked at Shearman and Sterling. According to the memo, he is taking a “career sabbatical” and sources stressed that while he is taking a break from the industry for a while, he is not retiring for good. Rather he is expected to resurface in a new role in due course.

¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.
Share our publication on social media
Share our publication on social media