UBS's `Warrants King' Has New Role Managing Hong Kong Wealth

(Bloomberg) -- Johnny Yu, who earned the nickname “King of Warrants” during his 13 years selling the financial derivatives at UBS Group AG in Hong Kong, is moving to the bank’s wealth management unit.

Yu said he’s hoping to use the contacts he built selling warrants to the territory’s lawyers, doctors and other professionals to find new customers for the Swiss bank’s wealth division.

“I have built a very strong network within the Hong Kong retail customer base,” Yu said in an interview last week. “I am confident I can bring in new clients for the firm.”

Warrants are popular instruments in Asian markets like Hong Kong and Singapore, giving the buyer the option to benefit from big share price gains or falls for a relatively small initial outlay. In the fourth quarter of last year, the value of warrants traded on Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd.’s main venue jumped 85 percent to HK$953 billion ($121 billion) from a year earlier, helped by the strong gains in the stock market.

Yu plans to grow his team of relationship managers to between five and eight people, with a focus on catering to high net worth individuals in Hong Kong with more than $2 million of investable assets. The number of individuals in the territory that own at least $5 million of assets rose 19 percent to 67,700 last year, according to Knight Frank’s latest wealth report. That was higher than mainland China’s 13 percent growth and Japan’s 9 percent increase.

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