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Hong Kong banker returns to London after lengthy spell in Asia

The head of financial sponsors at French Bank Natixis has relocated to London.

James Thomson has been running the financial sponsor team in APAC since April 2021, having joined Natixis in Hong Kong three years previously as head of aviation investment banking for the region.

But last week, Thomson, who is British and previously ran aviation investment banking at Deutsche Bank in Asia, took up a new role as head of UK financial sponsors at the French bank in London.

Natixis revamped its sponsor business in September 2022, appointing Yoan Quere as global head based in New York following the departure of Meriem Smida. It also invested in its APAC business, with Thomson leading the charge to build market share with private equity firms in Asia.

Natixis investment banking team in APAC is led by three Hong Kong-based executives: Bruno Le Saint, is CEO for the region, Aurelien Lasjunies, head of coverage, and Raghu Narain, head of investment banking.

The French bank is yet to publicly appoint a successor to Thomson, who previously worked in the UK and Hong Kong at Deutsche before joining Natixis as head of aviation investment banking in 2018.

Western banks have been cutting jobs and slashing pay in APAC following a slump in corporate finance activity in 2022.  Now they hope that volumes will rebound in 2023 as China lifts Covid restrictions. Thomson's return to London is a sign that, even after years spent in Asia, executives can still relocate back to the UK.

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