|Name: Mark Gwynne|
Institution: Merrill Lynch
Date started: February 2005
Title: Head of European equity syndicate
Previous job before promotion: Head of origination, Scandinavia and the Benelux, Merrill Lynch
Years worked in capital markets: 11
First job in capital markets: ECM, Smith Newcourt
Favourite deal worked on: £1.2bn Yell IPO, July 2003
Family: Married with one child
Live in: West London
Hero: Eric Cantona
Mark Gwynne took over from John Millar as head of European equity syndicate in February this year after a six month spell doing equity origination in Scandinavia and the Benelux, during which time he originated the audacious Statoil Nkr12.48bn ($2bn) deal. It famously failed to sell completely during bookbuilding but yielded Merrill Lynch a hefty profit when the shares the bank had taken on were placed the following week.
Gwynne's six months in origination was an anomaly in what has otherwise been a syndicate focused career and before the origination sojourn he had been deputy to Millar on the syndicate desk.
He joined the Merrill Lynch equity syndicate desk in 1999 from Crédit Lyonnais Asia, which was then one of the strongest ECM franchises in the region. He worked there with Ben Iversen (qv), now executive director in the global finance division at Lehman Brothers.
He began his career at Smith Newcourt in 1994, before Merrill Lynch acquired the firm. He was previously a lawyer at Clifford Chance.
As head of European syndicate, Gwynne sees one of his main tasks as better aligning the trading and research functions of Merrill Lynch so that the bank is better placed for risk trades.
"We need to look in a calculating way at how — in selected circumstances only — we can be more aggressive in risk trades," he says. "There needs to be careful alignment of various functions to enable us to compete more effectively."
He notes that the Statoil trade is a good example of the kind of deal Merrill Lynch should be aiming at doing in the future.
"Of course, the other main challenge is to maintain the widely accepted high standard of Merrill's execution," adds Gwynne. "But Merrill Lynch's broader broking franchise — the bank is number one globally — sets us up beautifully for what we need to achieve."
Gwynne reports to Rupert Hume-Kendall and Flavio Valeri who jointly run ECM at Merrill Lynch.