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Morning Coffee: Deutsche M&A appointment continues Hong Kong reshuffle

We’re barely two weeks into the year and there’s more news emanating from the upper echelons of Deutsche Bank in Hong Kong.

Last week we learned that Lisa Friis, Deutsche Bank’s COO of investment banking coverage and advisory for Asia, had left the bank. This was a major exit – Friis had 16 years of investment banking experience at Deutsche in London, Sydney, Singapore and most recently Hong Kong. Now Finance Asia reports that Deutsche has appointed Yash Kaman as sole head of natural resources for Asia, following the departure of former department joint-head, Nicholas Taylor.

The natural resources team at Deutsche had a busy 2014, working on several large mergers, according to Finance Asia. Last year was also good one for regional M&A in Asia – regional deal volumes reached a record high. Meanwhile, banks continue to compete for cross-border bankers like Kaman who can assist Asian companies as they make more overseas acquisitions.

Kaman rose to the top of Hong Kong investment banking despite starting his career in a non-front office role outside the banking sector. He first job was at Indian ratings agency Crisil, analysing corporate credit and assigning credit ratings, according to his LinkedIn profile. This was enough to clinch him a position at J.P. Morgan, where he worked for 10 years before joining Deutsche.

Deutsche’s Asian leadership is going through a period of change. Friis’ departure follows that of Noah Ward, COO for Hong Kong, who is leaving Asia to become chief administrative officer in the UK and is being replaced by Gaurav Mital. Bloomberg reports that Henry Cai, the firm’s most senior Chinese investment-banking veteran, is stepping down in February and that Robert Rankin, co-head of corporate banking and securities, is leaving this month. If Deutsche replaces them with external hires, this may trigger more senior people moves across Hong Kong IBD.

Meanwhile:

Bad things J.P. Morgan’s results are telling its investment banking employees (eFinancialCareers)

DBS is among the banks that may buy part of Coutts. (Reuters)

CIMB chairman says that no decision has been made yet on whether to scrap Malaysia’s mega bank merger. (Straits Times)

Citi quits consumer banking in Tokyo and five other cities. (CNBC)

Hong Kong has a “narrow economy” that relies too much on the finance sector. (South China Morning Post)

Employment rate for Singaporean polytechnic graduates falls for 2014. (Today)

China allows full foreign ownership of e-commerce firms in Shanghai free trade zone. (Straits Times)

Another foreign bank looks set to be permitted to operate in the Philippines this quarter. (Business World)


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