MD Promotions Favor Emerging Market Sites

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Coveting that MD title? Your chances are best if you're based in Singapore, Brazil, Korea, India or Russia.

Being in China, Indonesia and parts of the Middle East or Africa also could give you a leg up.

That's the takeaway from a recent Financial News story that focused on the geographic distribution of recent managing director appointments at top U.S. and UK banks. Most of those institutions "say they are elevating more people in emerging markets to cope with demand," FN says.

Some 18 percent of Morgan Stanley's 246 new managing directors are based in emerging markets, up from 11 percent last year. Those individuals work in Brazil, Russia, China, Hong Kong, India, South Korea, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

MD appointments at Barclays Capital showed a more dramatic tilt toward emerging markets this year: The region accounted for 15 percent (12 out of 80) of such promotions, compared with less than 6 percent (two of 36) in 2006. Locations of new Barclays MDs include Singapore, Seoul, Sao Paulo, Mumbai, Jakarta and Johannesburg.

Other bulge-bracket institutions make clear they're also grooming more top talent within emerging markets, without specifying just how many MDs are located in those regions. For instance, a Citigroup spokesman told Financial News, "Investment banks are increasingly sending their top bankers to Russia and the Middle East and parts of Africa over the past two years. We have stepped up the number of sector investment bankers who call on local clients in those markets." And Goldman Sachs said 17 percent of its new MDs are in non-Japan Asia.

The priority reflects rapid growth in equity issuance and M&A business in such markets as China and the Middle East, at a time when harsher credit conditions and slowing economies are crimping deal flow in the U.S. and Europe.

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