UBS’s Asia Investment Bank Head Joseph Chee Said to Resign

  • Chee spoke at UBS China conference in Shanghai last week
  • Firm has made recent hires to bolster Asia investment banking

Joseph Chee, UBS Group AG’s Asia investment-banking head, has resigned, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Chee, who spoke just last week at UBS’s Greater China conference in Shanghai, plans to leave the banking industry and is considering setting up his own investment fund, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

Mark Panday, a Hong Kong-based spokesman for UBS, declined to comment. IFR reported Chee’s departure earlier Friday, citing unidentified people.

As head of Asia corporate client solutions, Chee was responsible for overseeing UBS’s regional mergers advisory, capital markets and financing for companies, financial institutions and private-equity firms. He was left as sole head of the business after Saurabh Beniwal’s departure last year.

The group’s Asia head of technology, media and telecommunications, Michael Aw, left at the end of 2016, people familiar with his exit said Friday.

Sam Kendall, who assumed leadership of UBS’s Asia Pacific corporate client solutions group as part of an overhaul of the firm’s senior management last year, has brought in senior hires recently to bolster Asian investment banking.

New Hires

Pei Shen Chou is due to start in early February at UBS after working with Deutsche Bank AG for a decade focusing on China mergers and acquisitions. The Swiss bank also recently hired John Lee, who left his position as Bank of America Corp.’s vice chairman of Asia investment-banking coverage and will join UBS in a similar role, people with knowledge of the matter said in December.

Meanwhile, an internal e-mail obtained by Bloomberg News showed that UBS had hired James Malcolm from Caxton Associates to be its new Japan chief economist. He will join UBS Global Research on Jan. 23.

Chee was among two UBS bankers put on leave in early 2014 amid an internal review into whether the hiring of the daughter of the chairman of Tianhe Chemicals Group Ltd. had violated company guidelines and procedures. UBS was among banks that sponsored the company’s initial public offering in Hong Kong.

The city’s regulators have been tightening oversight of the banks that underwrite first-time share sales, and UBS said in October that Hong Kong’s securities regulator had flagged its intention to take action against the firm in connection with its sponsorship of some IPOs, which could include its suspension from providing corporate finance advisory services. Standard Chartered Plc is also facing similar action from Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission.

— With assistance by Chian-Wei Teo, Chanyaporn Chanjaroen, and Cathy Chan

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