Asia’s Talent Wars

Jun 18 2008 | 2:00am ET

Asia is the fastest growing market for hedge funds. Prime brokerages are tripping over themselves to boost their capacity in the region, leading to a battle for talent among the top firms.

FINalternatives Prime Brokerage 2008FINalternatives Prime Brokerage 2008No firm has had more trouble holding on to its top executives in Asia than Merrill Lynch. The firm has lost three key people since January, starting with the departure of Melvyn Ford, its former head of Asian prime brokerage. But his exit was just the beginning: Deutsche Bank nabbed Harvey Twomey, former head of Pacific Rim equity financing and sales at Merrill, in February, while new mom Yvonne Wong—reportedly the longest-tenured capital introduction expert in Asia—is leaving both Merrill and the prime brokerage industry all together.

Meanwhile, some of its chief rivals are staking their claims to be the region’s top prime broker. Goldman Sachs said earlier this year that it now boasts five managing directors in its Asian prime brokerage, with plans for a series of major hires. Meanwhile, Credit Suisse last year snagged Morgan Stanley’s prime brokerage marketing chief in Japan, Yoji Koga, naming him head of prime brokerage services in that country.

Prime brokers don’t have to contend only with other prime brokers for talent: Last month, convertible arbitrage hedge fund shop CQS hired two Lehman Brothers Asian prime brokerage executives. And by all accounts, the Asian talent wars are far from over.

This article appeared in the June 2008 edition of
FINalternatives Prime Brokerage.


In Depth

Steinbrugge: Will Hedge Funds Help or Hurt During the Next Market Correction?

Sep 7 2016 | 11:55pm ET

Most investors have become accustomed to quick rebounds when markets correct, but...

Lifestyle

Quattrex Sports AG Debuts Soccer-Focused UCITS Fund

Sep 9 2016 | 9:54pm ET

Innovative alternative investment company Quattrex Sports has unveiled a new UCITS...

Guest Contributor

Malik: The Ever-Changing Middle Market and The Entering Class of 2016

Sep 2 2016 | 5:01pm ET

Deal sourcing and origination is only going to get more competitive given current...