Asian merchant bank Ion Pacific has opened a new European headquarters in London.
Founded in Hong Kong in 2015, the bank’s UK office is being led by Claire Hoey, a former Lehman Brothers and Rothschild investment banker.
The company focuses on investment banking, including M&A, capital raising and private placements, and merchant banking, which involves principal investment opportunities.
The investment in a London office comes at a time when many international banks with European bases in London are seeking to expand elsewhere in Europe ahead of Brexit in March 2019.
“As part of our international expansion, we have chosen London to become our main European platform to help bridge capital and investment flows between the Asian and Western markets,” Hoey said.
“London is a global leader in financial markets and business excellence and we believe our presence here will significantly enhance our offering to both our Asian and international client base.”
Asked why Ion Pacific had chosen London as its European base, she said: “London will always be the HQ for Asian investors, especially the Chinese, who see it as a platform for Europe. This is unlikely to change, regardless of how Europe comes to see London in the future”
She added that the bank was started in London with a “small team”, but is “actively hiring to grow quickly in the next 12 months”.