A flurry of people moves in Asia, as Vontobel stops issuing listed structured products in Hong Kong SAR

Effective from this month, Sébastien Moretton has succeeded Emmanuel Guillaume as the new head of Vontobel’s structured products business after six years at Vontobel. He continues to be based in Hong Kong SAR, reporting to Georg von Wattenwyl, CEO of Vontobel Singapore and head of wealth management for Asia.

Von Wattenwyl will return to Zurich at the end of next year following a four-year mandate in Singapore. He will lead the new structured solutions financial institutions unit as part of Vontobel’s ongoing restructuring in Asia. The unit results from the merger of advisory investment solutions (structured solutions & treasury AIS) and wealth management in Asia.

Vontobel will cease its issuance of listed structured products in Hong Kong SAR after five and a half years in the listed market

In related news, Vontobel will cease its issuance of listed structured products in Hong Kong SAR after five and a half years in the listed market. However, its liquidity provider Vontobel Limited will ‘stand by all obligations,’ according to an internal memo seen by SRP.

The Swiss bank will reorganise its business in Asia with the merger of advisory investment solutions and wealth management in Asia to become the new structured solutions financial institutions unit. However, it will continue to serve institutional clients and financial intermediaries with structured solutions as well as asset management clients in the city, stated the memo.  

Citigroup is eliminating several jobs globally across its investment banking division including bankers from its capital-markets unit, according to media reports. However, the US bank is also beefing up its trading unit in Europe, as part of a broader push in the continent that will see 250 employees added in Paris as several trading roles shift to the French capital as a result of Brexit. This includes Fabio Lisanti, who was promoted to head of markets for Europe (excluding the UK) at Citigroup in late October. Lisanti (right) is set to relocate from London to Paris. Prior to this appointment, he served as head of markets for Western Europe.

Nomura has promoted a global markets structurer for Asia ex-Japan to the new role. Ajay Jain has been appointed as head of equity product sales, Asia ex-Japan at Nomura International, according to an internal memo seen by SRP. 

Having joined the bank in mid-2017, Jain was elevated to managing director level earlier this year following his appointment as head of investment and financing solutions within equity structuring. He will continue to be based in Hong Kong SAR and report to Corrinne Teo and Charles Myong, co-heads of global markets sales, Asia ex-Japan, as well as Rob Webb, head of equity products for the region. 

Finally, Goldman Sachs has released its new list of partners for 2022 which includes 80 bankers being promoted this year to one of the most desired positions in financial markets, up from 60 the smallest ever class, announced in November 2020 at the height of the pandemic.

The US bank’s newly appointed partners include several bankers involved in equity derivatives and structured products, equities sales and trading including Pierre Benichou, managing director, equity derivatives, in New York, since 2018 who will now be part of a group of executives taking US$950k salaries a share of the partner bonus pool, and extra one-off payments.

On 28 October, Twitter formally notified the SEC that it had been acquired by Elon Musk and said the stock would be suspended from trading.

Twitter shares were officially delisted from the New York Stock Exchange on 8 November, with each share exchanged for US$54.20 in cash, without interest and less any applicable withholding taxes.

The SRP global database lists 75,744 structured products linked to Twitter, including more than 40,000 that are still live. Many of these are leverage products, also known as turbos, but there are also 312 tranche structures sold in the primary market, especially in markets such as Switzerland, Italy and the US. For more details and insights, click here.

Dutch fund manager Wilgenhaege has launched Indexversneller 142% (Index Accelerator 142%) in the Netherlands. The 3.5-year note is issued on the paper of Société Générale and linked to the Eurostoxx 50. At maturity, if the index performance is positive, the product offers 100% capital return plus 142% uncapped participation in the rise. The barrier for capital protection is 80% – below that the return is equal to the index performance. The structure is Wilgenhaege’s first participation note in more than nine-years, having recently focused on Athena and Phoenix autocalls – either on single stocks or a worst-of basket.

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