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Asian market round up: Investment banks shake up senior staff

The Asian units of the world’s leading investment banks have not been immune to the industry-wide job cuts being announced.

On November 17, HSBC in Hong Kong announced that 450 staff had been let go, and Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley both say that jobs in Asia will be lost as part of the 10% global headcount reductions announced. Other investment banking jobs in the region are sure to go. However, amid the expected cutbacks and surprise departures there have been a few hires as some firms look to benefit from the rush of polished CVs hitting the market.

Chief among the surprise departures was Damian Chunilal, Merrill Lynch’s well-liked head of investment banking, who left abruptly on November 11. He is to be replaced by Jim Forbes, a New York healthcare banker, who will step in once the takeover of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America comes into effect.

In Japan, the opportunistic hiring of ex-Lehman Brothers bankers who were unable or unwilling to secure a place at Nomura continued, as JPMorgan Securities Japan announced on November 10 that it was hiring Masaru Shibata as head of M&A. Shibata had worked at Goldman Sachs for 15 years in New York and Tokyo before joining Lehman in 2004.

Deutsche Bank has been quietly building a strong group of senior advisers and executives in Tokyo over the past few months, and the firm capped an impressive run with the news that it was adding Heizo Takenaka, the widely respected former minister for economic policy in Japan, to its recently created advisory board.

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