UPDATE 1-UBS ECM head Williams quits to join Nomura-sources

Thu May 6, 2010 8:01am EDT

* Mark Williams to head Nomura's Asia Pacific ECM-sources

* Williams' hire a major coup for Nomura

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By Michael Flaherty and Denny Thomas

HONG KONG, May 6 (Reuters) - Mark Williams, the head of UBS Asia equity capital market (ECM), has resigned to join Japanese brokerage Nomura Holdings (8604.T), two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday.

Williams, an Australian, will join Nomura as head of ECM Asia-Pacific, the sources said on Thursday.

UBS declined to comment while Nomura was not available for comment.

Nomura is aiming to steady its Asian equities business after being hit by several high profile resignations this year. The Japanese broker is building a huge presence outside its home market, aided by the acquisition of Lehman Brothers' Asian and European business.

Nomura is also building up in the Americas and the region will play a key role going forward. It has been on a hiring spree in the U.S. [ID:nTOE62207M].

Poaching Williams is a major coup for Nomura and a big loss for UBS, which has been a top underwriter of equity offerings in the Asia-Pacific region.

But UBS missed out a getting a top tier role in the Agricultural Bank of China's [ABC.UL] $30 billion initial public offering recently. UBS is the financial adviser for the Hong Kong part of ABC's share offering.

Nomura has seen a higher than average amount of senior bankers quit in the past two months, most of them former Lehman Brothers bankers who received the remainder of a two-year guaranteed bonus in March.

Investment banks in Asia are beefing up head counts in ECM, debt capital market and mergers and acquisitions departments anticipating strong growth in equity offerings and deals.

Chinese banks alone are likely to raise $60 billion is equity capital this year while, several Chinese and Indian companies are on the look out to buy assets overseas. (Editing by Chris Lewis and Jon Loades-Carter)

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