Morgan Stanley has promoted Ben Falloon to head of sales for interest rates, currencies and credit (IRCC) for Asia-Pacific as part of a broader expansion drive, asiamoney.com can exclusively reveal.
The US investment bank is also looking to hire 30 to 40 new staff in 2010 as it continues to build its fixed income team, having set its sights on becoming a bigger trader of fixed income products in the region.
Based in Hong Kong, Falloon reports locally to Ranodeb ‘Ronnie’ Roy, head of Asia IRCC,and globally to Robert Rooney, the global head of IRCC distribution.
“Distribution has been a major focus for us,” Roy told asiamoney.com in an interview. “We have hired great people and taken our Asia franchise a significant step higher.”
Falloon, who joined from Credit Suisse in September last year, was previously managing director and head of sales for rates and credit products for Asia-Pacific.
In his new capacity he has taken the bank’s foreign exchange, public and private fixed income sales coverage under his wing.
The promotion of Falloon constitutes part of Morgan Stanley’s push to become a serious fixed income house. The bank only hired Roy in March last year from Merrill Lynch, where he had been co-head of regional fixed income.
Roy revealed that he wanted to bring up to 40 new staff on board in 2010 to improve the bank’s foreign exchange capabilities in particular. He has already hired more than 40 people in his department since October, although about half of these were replacements.
Observers say that the bank’s desire to grow in the fixed income arena is long overdue.
One source familiar with the bank’s activities said: “Morgan Stanley has not really had a fixed income position for a few years, but then [in 2008] they brought Ronnie on board, plus other notables such as Larry Chi [head of China IRCC sales, who was hired from Credit Suisse in September] and Yuki Hashimoto [head of regional FX sales] from Credit Suisse. It’s a big push.”
Other notable hires in recent months include Ronan McCullough, who was brought in from Goldman Sachs in August to head its bond and loans syndicate for Asia-Pacific, andJason Guo and Xie Rong, whom Morgan Stanley snatched from J.P. Morgan to join its China corporate sales team in October.
Plus late last month the bank hired Carol Lin from Bank of America-Merrill Lynch to become Hong Kong-based managing director of its Asian distressed and stressed assets sourcing and distribution business.