* UBS had been top ranked ECM firm for several years
* Chee worked on landmark Chinese IPOs in Hong Kong
(Adds formal announcement to come on Friday)
By Fiona Lau and Elzio Barreto
HONG KONG, Jan 13 Joseph Chee, one of UBS Group
AG's top dealmakers in Asia, has resigned to pursue his
own interests, two people familiar with the matter said on
Friday, making it the second senior investment banker to leave
the Swiss lender in recent weeks.
Chee, whose official title was head of corporate client
solutions for Asia, was the go-to banker for Chinese state and
private companies seeking to raise funds in Hong Kong and the
He led several landmark deals, including China Cinda Asset
Management Co Ltd's $2.5 billion initial public
offering (IPO) in 2013, and also helped UBS land a financial
advisory role in the $7.6 billion IPO of Postal Savings Bank of
China Co Ltd last year.
Chee is planning to set up his own fund, one of the people
UBS declined to comment. One of the people said an internal
announcement of Chee's departure will be made on Friday.
The Swiss firm was a powerhouse in Asia equity capital
markets (ECM) and along with Goldman Sachs Group Inc
dominated the league tables from 2002. But in the past two years
its performance has suffered as Chinese investment banks made
inroads into the money-making business.
While overall ECM activity in Asia Pacific fell 22.5 percent
in 2016, UBS suffered a 66 percent decline in the value of share
offerings it worked on last year, with estimated fees declining
45.4 percent, Thomson Reuters data showed.
Last month, Damien Brosnan, co-head of Asia ECM at UBS, left
the bank only seven months after taking up that position.
UBS is currently under investigation in Hong Kong by the
local securities regulator. In October, the regulator said it
was probing the Swiss bank's role as a sponsor of certain
unnamed stock market listings in the city, with the intention to
start unspecified action against the bank and some of its
There is no link between that probe and the ECM departures,
the people said.
(Reporting by Fiona Lau and Elzio Barreto; Additional reporting
by Sumeet Chatterjee and Julie Zhu; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and