The Spanish bank is expanding the footprint of its global equities business to Hong Kong and New York.

BBVA Corporate & Investment Banking has launched two trading and sales hubs in Hong Kong and in New York as part of the strategic expansion of its equities business for institutional and corporate clients.

The bank’s new fully-fledged equity hub in New York consolidates BBVA’s equity activities in North America with the transfer of the trading desk for US equity from Mexico City. The new trading desk will be headed by Marc Fauvain, head of equity trading, Americas.

BBVA has also set up a specific local securities issuance programme to enable US investors accessing the bank’s investment products. The new distribution team in New York will also be able to leverage the trading desk ‘to add more value to BBVA current and future clients both in the US and in Latin America’.

With this move, the Spanish bank is seeking to diversify the client base and the risk profile of its books.

“[The goal] is also to be able to provide a comprehensive coverage of the main global markets, hence offering a wider range of products to clients in Europe and the other relevant geographies,” Roberto Vila (pictured), global head of equity at BBVA, told SRP in an emailed statement.

“The addition of two regional hubs, fully aligned and integrated with our operations in Madrid and Mexico City, is a key milestone for BBVA in achieving a high-quality local delivery of global investment products.”

The Hong Kong hub will be a local extension of the global product capabilities of BBVA in the manufacturing of structured investment products for private banks and asset managers in Hong Kong and Singapore, both through traditional and digital channels.

The Hong Kong desk will be led by Eric Michl, head of global equities, Asia, who joined BBVA in July from Natixis where he was head of Asia Pacific equity trading.

Recent developments

The opening of the two hubs is part of BBVA’s plan to build up its product offering and market reach to become a global player with a ‘factory’ setup since Vila’s arrival as global head of equity in mid-2019.

Since then, the bank has been working on developing its equity investment products catalogue as well as on revamping and upgrading its technology infrastructure to improve the scalability of its digital equity investment solutions platform for product distribution.

In May 2020, BBVA partnered with FinIQ to launch the epricer, a web-based price discovery tool for its equities and credit-linked structured products. Later in the year, the bank launched a new business line was created to focus on the design, manufacturing and distribution of Quantitative Investment Strategies (QIS) - a family of ESG indices with a focus on governance has been available since the first quarter of 2021.

In June, the bank partnered with fintech firm Alpima in a move to scale up its quantitative investment solutions business division.

As an issuer group, BBVA has almost 1,000 live structures worth over US$6 billion across a number of markets including the UK, Spain, Peru, Mexico, Ireland and the institutional market.