Morgan Stanley dealmaker joins Tencent-backed Airwallex, sources say

Morgan Stanley dealmaker joins Tencent-backed Airwallex, sources say
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(Sept 26): Airwallex, a payment platform startup, is hiring Morgan Stanley’s head of Southeast Asia technology investment banking, according to people with knowledge of the matter.  

Justin Yek, an executive director who has been with the US firm for more than four years, will join the Tencent Holdings Ltd-backed company, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. He will be based in Singapore, one of the people said. 

Yek’s departure comes amid Airwallex’s rapid fundraising over the past year and its expansion in the region after securing permits in Singapore and Malaysia. The firm is valued at US$5.5 billion and also counts DST Global and Mastercard Inc among its backers, according to its website. It is considering an initial public offering as soon as 2024, people with knowledge of the matter have said.

Before joining Morgan Stanley, Yek was a co-founder of Altitude Labs, an app design and development agency, according to his LinkedIn profile. He also previously worked at Citigroup Inc, the profile shows.

Separately, Yuen Dezhao, an executive director at Morgan Stanley whose focus has been on power, utilities and infrastructure deals in Asia, is joining private equity firm Actis LLP, according to people familiar with the matter. Based in Hong Kong, he spent more than 10 years at the bank, his LinkedIn profile shows. 

Representatives for Airwallex, Actis and Morgan Stanley declined to comment, while Yek and Yuen didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.