Deutsche Bank To Boost Asia Prime Brokerage

Mar 29 2010 | 11:32am ET

Not wanting to be left out of the expected boom in Asian hedge fund launches, Deutsche Bank has aggressively built up its prime brokerage team in the region and will continue to do so.

The bank said it has increased the number of its Asia prime finance staffers by about 20% over the past year-and-a-half, Bloomberg News reports. The firm will continue to add people in the region, which is expected to be home to a large number of hedge fund launches over the next several years.

Among the hires the firm has already made are Masa Yanagisawa, who was named director of the hedge fund capital group in Japan, and Harvey Twomey, head of the prime finance institutional group in Hong Kong. Both came to Deutsche Bank from Merrill Lynch.

“Within the global prime-finance world, Asia is a big focus,” Sean Capstick, Deutsche Bank’s head of capital introduction, told Bloomberg. “We’ve been very involved in the startup markets and that is something we absolutely plan to continue doing.”

Certainly, Deutsche Bank is not alone in beefing up its prime-brokerage presence in Asia. Citigroup plans to double the size of its institutional hedge fund advisory team in the region over the next two years. Credit Suisse is expected to buy Fortis Bank Nederland’s prime brokerage unit, which includes offices in Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo. That firm also plans to boost the size of its existing Asia prime brokerage by as much as 20%. Morgan Stanley in December hired a new head of Japanese prime brokerage as it works to increase its capability in the area.

“People are coming here looking for very good investment ideas and that now is translating directly through the startup market,” Capstick said. “We spend a very large amount of time meeting with people who are starting up hedge funds. Our role is to find which ones are going to flourish.”


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