HSBC Steps Up Equities Expansion by Poaching From Rivals in Asia

(Bloomberg) -- HSBC Holdings Plc is continuing a hiring spree for its equities business in the Asia-Pacific region, recruiting executives from firms including Deutsche Bank AG, the German lender which is making deep cuts to its own global operations.

HSBC has hired Deutsche Bank’s Isabella Kwok as a managing director for Asian equity sales with a China focus, according to people familiar with the matter, asking not to be identified because the move hasn’t been announced. Others joining the London-based bank in Hong Kong include Edman Wong from Citigroup Inc. and CLSA Ltd.’s Vivek Gandhi, who will be based in Singapore, the people added.

The hires are part of a restructuring of HSBC’s global equities operation since Hossein Zaimi was appointed to run the business early last year. The bank has brought in new talent from a range of other peers, mostly at director level or below, while pushing out under-performers, the people said.

That restructuring is taking place against the backdrop of tough conditions in the equities business worldwide, with banks facing a relentless decline in trading commissions and a new regulatory regime that has led to fierce competition in the provision of execution and research services. Deutsche Bank said Thursday it’s shedding a quarter of equities jobs and reducing overall positions by at least 7,000 as Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing seeks to slash costs and boost profitability at the investment bank.

China Priority

At HSBC, the latest additions are intended to boost equities sales for Hong Kong and China and improve its hedge fund business in Asia, one of the people said. Another priority is to strengthen HSBC’s securities business in China, where it became the first foreign bank to win permission for a controlling stake in an onshore joint venture last year.

More senior hires have included Michael Chandler, the global head of equities sales for Asia Pacific, and Chito Jeyarajah, both recruited from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. last year.

Others joining HSBC equity sales include James Johnson, a former director at BOC International Holdings Ltd. and Jonathan Butler from China International Capital Corp., who will become a London-based director of hedge fund sales, the people said. Henry Leung, formerly with JPMorgan Chase & Co., has been hired for HSBC’s equities capital markets business, together with Dyutish Chaudhuri, who will join from Credit Suisse Group AG, the people added.

Lauren Fraser, a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for HSBC, declined to comment.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.