Evercore has hired a senior Standard Chartered banker in Singapore as it continues to build its business there. Samaresh Singh joined the advisory boutique earlier this month as a managing director in mergers and acquisitions.
Singh worked in M&A for Stan Chart for seven years, latterly as an executive director. While at the bank he closed more than 20 Southeast Asian deals, totalling $15bn, across sectors such as metals and mining, consumer and retail, and real estate.
Evercore is a comparative newcomer to Singapore investment banking, having only opened an office there in 2013, under the leadership of former UBS banker Keith Magnus. It now employs about 18 people in the city state.
Magnus, who was promoted to co-chairman of Asia in April, said earlier this year that he wanted to hire more bankers in Singapore. The recruitment of Singh suggests these ambitions are now coming into fruition.
While large investment banks in Asia continue to purge their senior ranks, future hiring at Evercore is likely to be focused on experienced bankers like Singh.
“The better-known boutiques such as Evercore have been making their mark in Asia,” says Hugo Cheng, a consultant at financial services consultancy Quinlan & Associates. “But given their size, they tend to be tempered with their build-outs. Rather than big recruitment drives, they emphasise hiring seniors who can bring in business using established relationships.”
Evercore has advised on several significant Southeast Asian deals recently, including Singtel’s $810m acquisition of cyber security firm Trustwave.
“With boutiques climbing up some regional league tables, they’re becoming a more attractive employment alternative to the major global banks in Asia,” says Cheng. “But the main attraction is compensation. While large banks have various restrictions on their bonuses – such as share-based payments, deferral periods and claw-backs – boutiques tend to pay upfront in cash.”
M&A hiring in Singapore remains stagnant overall, says headhunters. Southeast Asia M&A volume stood at $27.2bn in the first half of 2017, down 32% year on year, and the lowest half-year volume since 2012, according to Dealogic figures.
Prior to Stan Chart, Singh worked in-house for infrastructural company GMR for just over a year. He was a corporate finance associate at Merrill Lynch between 2007 and 2009, based in Singapore and Jakarta.
Unusually for an eventual MD, Singh did not begin his career in banking. He was a consultant at Tata Consultancy Services from 1998 to 2005.
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