Merrill Lynch to expand Asia financial sponsor coverage

Merrill Lynch has made several key appointments in Asia in leveraging the region’s private equity boom.

Merrill Lynch has appointed Richard Gibb who co-heads the bank’s Asia Financial Institutions Group as Co-head of Asia Financial Sponsors group, together with Ajay Sawhney.

According to an internal memorandum from Sheldon Trainor, head of Asia origination at Merrill Lynch, the duo will add additional resources to build the investment bank’s coverage of buyout firms in the coming months.

In addition, Gibb will continue to co-head the bank’s Asia FIG group with Michael Tan, and Sawhney, will continue as head of the bank’s Asia Leverage Finance group. Laura Koh, a director and head of Debt Capital market for South and Southeast Asia, will join the leverage finance team, and report to Sawhney.

According to the Trainor’s note, Lodewijk Meens has decided to focus full-time on mergers & acquisitions origination and execution. Meens has been credited with playing a critical role in kickstarting Merrill Lynch’s coverage of financial sponsor clients in Asia.

The bank declined to comment.