Merrill Lynch has hired a top collateralized debt obligation team from BNP Paribas in Tokyo in a bid to boost its presence in the Japanese market. Toshitaka Nagatsu, head of derivatives and structured credit sales at the French bank, joins in a new role as managing director and head of Japan credit sales, while Yujiro Obata, Go Yajima and Shun Cajot-Yoshida, credit structurers, have joined as directors in credit sales and marketing for the effort. Taro Masuyama, head of Japan credit sales and marketing at Merrill in Tokyo, declined comment.
The move is seen as a coup for Merrill, which has been eyeing a build-out of its established cash CDO business in Asia Pacific. The firm has been looking to push into regional synthetics since last year, when it hired a team of credit structurers from JPMorgan for Hong Kong and Tokyo (DW, 8/26).
"This team is well-regarded," noted a credit head at a rival house, explaining the staff helped shape BNP into a leading credit derivatives house in Japan. BNP was one of the first movers in rolling out both Japanese default-swap CDOs (DW, 11/15/01) and the CJ 50 credit index (DW, 8/25/03). Emmanuel Ramambason, Asian head of credit derivatives at BNP, did not respond to messages by press time.
Additionally at Merrill in the Pacific Rim, Giorgio Pilla, marketer at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein in Singapore, joins as a director in Hong Kong for CDO sales and Kenneth Pereira, formerly at Credit Suisse in Sydney, is understood to be joining as a director for the team in the next few months.