Wholesale finance sector growth in Asia is fuelling an influx of capital to the region’s markets. As European investors and financial services firms seek to beat the downturn in the west, capital markets consultancy GreySpark Partners has opened a new office in Hong Kong to serve as its Asia Pacific headquarters.
GreySpark Partners currently caters for buy- and sell-side clients, as well as technology vendors and platform operators. Led by Andrew McLauchlan, partner and managing director Asia Pacific, the new Hong Kong office will provide on-site and local delivery for client projects that are currently being managed from the UK.
McLauchlan will be responsible for the firm’s overall strategy and operations in Asia Pacific. Prior to this role, McLauchlan was based in London as a partner at GreySpark, and before this was a business development director for consultancy NET2S, where he managed a team of sales executives, as well as being directly responsible for the firm’s major accounts.
Uncertainty in the Eurozone has damaged Asia’s trading volumes since the middle of 2011. China in particular led a decline in average daily volumes traded. Yet the rise of Asia is not a short-term phenomenon, nor is it likely to disappear.
“You cannot ignore that the centre of gravity of global financial institutions is shifting east,” said Frederic Ponzo, managing partner, GreySpark. “Out of all the global financial centres to expand to, Hong Kong is the obvious choice.”
Total equity market turnover in Asia Pacific was US$1 trillion in January – considerably higher than the US$0.965 trillion recorded in Europe, the Middle East and Africa combined, according to figures provided by Thomson Reuters.
Hong Kong has long been in competition with Singapore to attract foreign institutional investors. Kinetic Partners – a tax and regulatory advice firm exclusively for asset management, investment banking and broking industries, selected Hong Kong as its Asian centre in January.
Total equity market turnover in Hong Kong was US$27.996 billion in January 2012, down from US$42.518 billion 12 months earlier. In Singapore, turnover was US$13.205 billion, down from US$19.955 billion.