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US firm O'Melveny & Myers has transferred a key rainmaker from its Tokyo office to head its Asian M&A practice from Hong Kong in a move it hopes will make it a real force in the Asian corporate market.
Partner Gregory Puff is one of the 'dedicated specialists' O'Melveny has singled out as part of an integrated approach to succeeding in the booming Asia markets.
"We believe the M&A opportunity in Asia is too big to pursue piecemeal," says the partner in charge of Asia practice and co-head of the firm's China practice Howard Chao. "We’ve decided we need to approach the region in an integrated fashion using dedicated specialists, just like our clients are doing."
Puff, who is experienced in cross-border corporate finance transactions, will continue his coverage of the firm's Tokyo office, where he was partner in the transactions department.
O'Melveny has made several recent lateral hires in Asia, including seven in Hong Kong and six in mainland China, with Chao calling the Asia practice "its busiest ever". In fact, Chao said that the firm signed or closed deals with an announced value of more than $4bn (£1.98bn) in July alone this year.
O'Melveny's Asia presence comprises offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo.