Salomon Smith Barney has set up an institutional equity derivatives sales group in Asia and has hired Emanuel Breiter, v.p. of equity global markets at Merrill Lynch in Hong Kong. Breiter starts in the new position as director of institutional equity derivatives sales at Salomon in Hong Kong at the end of the month, according to Katherine D'Arcy, spokeswoman in Hong Kong. She attributed the effort to improved market conditions in Asia: "We see an opportunity now that we didn't see a year ago," referring to the pick up in Asian cash equities. Breiter is travelling and could not be reached for comment.
Formerly the sales operation was part of the equity derivatives desk, which it has now separated in an effort to bulk it up, said D'Arcy.
The newly established group is headed by Ted Tsao, head of institutional sales for Asia Pacific equity derivatives in Hong Kong, who relocated from New York, where he was a director of institutional sales, for the effort last month, D'Arcy added. Tsao declined comment. "This is an aggressive push," said a market official, who noted that the firm will look to hire additional salesmen, declining to elaborate on the number of likely hires.
Breiter reported to Brent Clapacs, managing director and head of global markets at Merrill in Hong Kong. Clapacs did not return calls.