HSBC Said to Hire Nomura’s Wang to Boost China Fees

03/20/10

Permalink 01:12:32 am, by dacare, 588 words, 2471 views   English (US)
Categories: Leaders on the Move, Banking & Financial Services

HSBC Said to Hire Nomura’s Wang to Boost China Fees

By Cathy Chan

March 17 (Bloomberg) -- HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe’s biggest lender, hired former Nomura Holdings Inc. executive Jane Wang to bolster investment banking in the world’s fastest-growing major economy, two people with direct knowledge of her plans said.

Wang, 42, will become China chairman for corporate finance in a newly created position and start in early April, the people said, asking not to be identified before an announcement. She will report to Liu Che-Ning, 44, the head of global corporate and investment banking in Hong Kong and China, they said.

The executive is HSBC’s second senior hire in six months in China, the world’s biggest market for initial public offerings in 2009. Liu, a former managing director at Morgan Stanley, joined HSBC in October.

HSBC ranks fourth in arranging overseas stock sales by Chinese companies this year, up from 16th in 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Before this year, the bank’s highest ranking in the past decade was eighth.

The London-based bank doesn’t have a license to underwrite domestic share sales in the country, lagging behind rivals including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., UBS AG and Credit Suisse Group AG.

Annie Cheng, a spokeswoman at HSBC in Hong Kong, declined to comment. The company, set up in 1865 as the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp., plans to trade its shares in Shanghai and moved Chief Executive Officer Michael Geoghegan to Hong Kong from London last month to sharpen its focus on Asia.

Lehman Takeover

Wang, who joined Nomura through the takeover of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s Asia operations in 2008, resigned last week from the Tokyo-based brokerage as vice chairman of China investment banking, people with knowledge of the matter have said. She will be based in Hong Kong with HSBC.

She joined Deutsche Bank AG in 2000 and was promoted to co- head of China investment banking in 2004. Lehman hired her the following year as head of China corporate finance. During her stints at Deutsche Bank and Lehman, she helped win work arranging share sales for Dongfeng Motor Group Co. and China Citic Bank Corp.

HSBC was hired to underwrite Bank of Communications Ltd.’s rights offer of as much as $6.15 billion, and won a role arranging the initial public offering of Swire Pacific Ltd.’s property unit this year, one of the people said.

Banker Departures

HSBC tried to expand its investment bank under co-heads Stuart Gulliver and John Studzinski as part of a five-year plan that started in 2003. Studzinski added about 1,400 people to the corporate and investment bank in 2005, increasing expenses and contributing to the unit’s decline in pretax earnings.

After Studzinski left in 2006, HSBC scaled back its ambitions to focus on a narrower range of securities services targeting emerging markets. Studzinski joined Blackstone Group LP and hired HSBC bankers including Zheng Jianping and Jing Xiaowen in 2008.

The U.K. bank lost senior bankers hired in Asia in 2007, including Asia CEO Michael Smith; Daniel Palmer, global head of capital markets; and Steven Wallace, Asia investment banking head. Smith became CEO of Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd.

HSBC’s posted full-year net income of $5.83 billion, missing the $7.76 billion median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Pretax profit at the investment banking unit, led by Gulliver, more than tripled to $10.5 billion. It was the only among HSBC’s divisions to report a gain in profit.

The lender wants to raise more than $5 billion in Shanghai as China opens the exchange to foreign companies, people with knowledge of the matter said in August.

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