South Korea’s Hana Financial Investment Co Ltd has rehired former Com2uS Corp executive director Kyu-yeol Lee for its investment banking business as part of a strategy aimed at regaining lost ground in the acquisition financing market.

A chartered financial analyst, Lee will return to Hana Financial Investment as managing director of the investment banking (IB) division 1 unit, sources said on Wednesday (August 5). He had been director of the IB division a number of year ago, overseeing its acquisition financing business, following a period with Samil PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Lee joined Mirae Asset Daewoo in 2016 and moved to Com2uS last year to build mergers and acquisitions strategies.

His appointment affirms Hana Financial Investment’s ambitions of returning to the top of the acquisition financing ladder, a position it last held in 2013 and 2014, according to the bell’s league tables. At that time the domestic market was dominated by commercial banks and Hana Financial Investment was the only brokerage firm that could compete with those lenders.

Since 2015 the acquisition financing business has been rehaped by brokerage firms’ efforts to become large-scale investment banks, with NH Investment & Securities and Mirae Asset Daewoo taking the lead. Hana Financial Investment was ranked only 14th in the bell’s 2019 tables.

The securities firm said earlier this year that it would expand its investment banking business through an organizational reshuffle that divided the team into two groups. IB 1 group aims to create synergies with Hana Bank, while IB 2 group will strive for improved competitiveness in investment banking and alternative investment.

IB 2’s investment banking division is in charge of acquisition financing. (Reporting by Hee-yeon Han)