Zilla and Collins hit the bid

HSBC beefs up its Asian credit trading team with the hiring of Chris Zilla and Chris Collins, presaging a large move into high yield.

HSBC has hired two credit trading veterans to add to its already huge presence in the market. Chris Zilla joins the team in Hong Kong as an Asian high yield specialist. He joins after 10 years at Morgan Stanley, six of which have been in Asia, where he held a similar position. He will begin work on March 7. The two hires bring the total number of traders in Hong Kong to 16 making it one of the largest bond trading desk in the region offering a full range of products in Asian time zones.

Morgan Stanley is the leader in Asian high yield markets, both primary and secondary. Zilla's hire will allow HSBC to expand aggressively into high yield later this year, both from a trading and an origination standpoint.

Strategically, at the end of last year, HSBC is understood to have adapted its rather conservative credit policies and it is now seeking to move down the credit curve, up the yield curve and up the fee tables.

Chris Collins joins from BNP-Paribas where he held the post of head of flow trading Asia/Japan. He has 16 years of credit trading experience, the last six of them in Asia. Based in Hong Kong from March 22, Collins will be responsible for strengthening the bank's Japanese and Australian credit trading.

Both Zilla and Collins will report to Jim Milligan, the head of G3 fixed income trading, Asia-Pacific at HSBC in Hong Kong, and one of the most consistent traders in the business. "We already have a very strong high-grade franchise in place at HSBC, and with the two additions we will be able to offer our clients a much broader product range," says Milligan.

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