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Debt capital markets: Morgan Stanley makes big comeback

US bank is surprising frontrunner in league tables.

Raj Dhanda, head of debt capital markets at Morgan Stanley Dhanda: pitching hard

A few eyebrows were raised when Dealogic’s first quarter league tables for Latin America were released. The top debt underwriter turned out to be Morgan Stanley – a house many banks had all but written off a year ago.

The ranking was mainly thanks to Morgan Stanley’s position as co-lead on the $3 billion liability management transaction for Mexico in March, alongside Goldman Sachs. But Goldman only came third in the league table: Morgan Stanley had seven other deals under its belt – from Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and even Uruguay.

Raj Dhanda, head of debt capital markets at Morgan Stanley, sees the pick-up in pace as coming partly from the very top. “John and Zoe are focusing on our international business and our emerging-market franchise,” he says, referring to CEO John Mack and president Zoe Cruz.

In February, Morgan Stanley appointed its first regional head for Latin America, Guillermo Jasson (a brother of former JPMorgan fixed income dealmaker Jorge Jasson).

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