French bank hires Hong Kong ED as it targets Asia for expansion

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Natixis has made a senior hire in Asian leverage and acquisition finance, a function it had earmarked for growth this year. Edmund Wong has joined the French firm in Hong Kong as an executive director.

He previously spent six years and eight months in the leveraged and structured solutions team at Standard Chartered in Hong Kong, focused on “leveraged finance, corporate acquisition finance, pre-IPO finance, share financing, privatisation, and cross-border finance”, according to his online profile.

Natixis has been bullish recently about its expansion plans in Asia and Wong works in a niche which is central to its ambitions. Chairman Francois Perol said in December last year that he sees growth opportunities for Natixis in Asian infrastructure, project and acquisition finance.

The wider corporate and investment banking division at Natixis will add to its 600-strong workforce in Asia in 2017, on the back of continued double-digit revenue growth, he added.

Natixis’ hiring of Wong appears well timed as it comes before an expected surge in demand for leverage and acquisition finance professionals in Asia.

“I think hiring will make a comeback in Asia over next 24 months. I’m already seeing increased appetite from the sell-side,” says trader-turned-headhunter Matthew Hoyle, director of Matthew Hoyle Financial Markets in Hong Kong. “Leverage finance allows banks to conservatively add risk to their balance sheet. It’s also more profitable when interest rates start moving around.”

Wong is a veteran in the field. Prior to joining Stan Chart he was an associate director in leverage finance at WestLB in Hong Kong, where he worked for four years.

He began his career in 1999 at DBS in Singapore, specialising in real estate finance, and moved to Hong Kong with the same bank in 2005.

Natixis made two senior internal appointments in Asia earlier this month. Daniel Klinger was promoted to head of loan syndication, Asia Pacific, and Bertrand Guiot was made head of global infrastructure and projects, Asia Pacific.

Image credit: chinaface, Getty

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