HSBC announced last week the hiring of Will Ross as its new head of ABS and structured bonds for the Asia-Pacific region. Based in Hong Kong, Ross will head a nine-member team of ABS professionals located across the region.

Ross, who joined HSBC in September 2005, to head the Asian ABS syndicate, reports to Jon Bottorff, the bank's global ABS head, and Stephen Williams, co-head of capital markets in Asia.

The appointment ends one of the longest recruitment searches Asia market veterans can remember. After Sarwar Ahmad, who built up the team from scratch following his arrival in 2001, departed late last year, HSBC has held extensive interviews with outside candidates, before eventually settling on an in-house appointment.

Ross's initial focus will be to make up for some of the ground lost in 2006. Between 2003 and 2005, HSBC was the most active arranger in the region - structuring deals in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and South Korea - forging a reputation as a highly competitive bidder on new mandates.

While the market has been quieter in 2005, HSBC has not secured a high-profile mandate this year, and will be keen to put that right in the coming months.

(c) 2006 Asset Securitization Report and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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