Top SocGen Hong Kong trader returns as MD at world’s biggest bank

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kenneth taheny societe general to icbc

Kenneth Taheny, Societe Generale’s former head of Asia Pacific cash equity sales trading, has resurfaced at ICBC International in Hong Kong. The move is further evidence that Chinese banks are staffing up their sales and trading teams as Western firms continue to cut back.

Taheny left SocGen’s Hong Kong office in October last year after a six-year director-level stint “developing and executing sales strategy, and trading the entire region”, according to his online profile. He is now a managing director and head of the international institutions sales group at ICBC, the world’s largest bank by assets.

His move follows that of Rachel Chan, a China-focused institutional equity sales specialist who joined ICBC in Hong Kong from Agricultural Bank of China earlier this year as an executive director.

Despite the rising of electronic trading, professionals with experience of Chinese stocks are generally sought after in Hong Kong. Demand is being fueled by the stock connect programmes, continued liberalisation of China’s securities market, and index publisher MSCI’s landmark decision to include China-listed shares in its emerging-markets benchmark.

Chinese firms are driving much of the current sales and trading hiring, however, in the wake of layoffs by Western rivals in Hong Kong. Deutsche Bank made redundancies in its Asian equities team just last month, while Credit Suisse culled dozens from its regional equities operations last year after a slump in revenues. Barclays, along with several other banks, cut jobs in 2016.

Taheny has been in Asia for most of his career since graduating from Brown University in 1997. He worked as a VP in Japanese equity sales trading (covering institutional and hedge fund clients) at Lehman Brothers in Tokyo for about two years, before joining HSBC Japan in 2006 at director level in the same function.

From 2009 to 2011, Taheny headed up Japanese equity sales trading for MF Global. He then relocated to Hong Kong for his SocGen role.

In his spare time Taheny is a volunteer coach for the Hong Kong Lacrosse Association’s high-performance programme, having played Lacrosse for four years while at Brown.

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