William Mills

Managing Director

Head, CEEMEA Debt Capital Markets
Mizuho International (DIFC Branch)

Europe, Middle East, and Africa

Years in the industry: 15 years

Areas of focus: Investment Banking, Debt Capital Markets

Tell us a little about yourself

I joined Mizuho International in 2004 as a modern language graduate, and have worked in the Primary Debt department ever since covering clients across EMEA, Latin America and Australasia. I worked in Japan between 2010 and 2011, and since 2014 I have been responsible for Mizuho’s Debt Capital Markets business in the CEEMEA region. I moved to Dubai in January of 2018 to open the DIFC Branch.

What is your remit in the Middle East?

I moved out to the Middle East in January 2018 when Mizuho put DCM specialists on the ground in the region for the first time. When we started the CEEMEA desk within Primary Debt in 2014 it became clear very quickly that a combination of market dynamics and the strong relationships Mizuho Bank has in the region made the Middle East the natural centre for our CEEMEA debt capital markets business. There has been a huge growth in debt capital market issues from the Middle East in recent years, so a physical presence makes sense with the client base spread across the GCC. I remain responsible for the broader CEEMEA region and continue to work closely with colleagues in London as well.

What differentiates the Middle East from other markets you’ve worked in?

Overall, the pace of capital market growth has differentiated the Middle East as governments, quasi-government organisations, corporate and financial institutions all look at the capital markets as a new source of financing. This means a lot of new names coming to the international capital markets and keeps things very interesting for us locally.

What kind of issuance are you working on?

Our DCM business complements Mizuho Bank’s loan business, which has historically been very active in the Middle East and by combining the DCM expertise and balance sheet strength we’re able to provide a full product suite to meet clients’ debt financing needs across the corporate, financial and sovereign sectors.

What has been the highlight of your career?

Originating Mizuho’s first Yankee deal for National Grid alongside colleagues in the US office back in 2009 was a major milestone, and a sign of things to come as Mizuho’s debt capital markets business has continued to grow. With the support of our colleagues from Mizuho Bank and partners across the Mizuho Securities network, Mizuho is now a Top 10 arranger of Bonds and Sukuk in the GCC region, and a Top 5 underwriter of Turkish bank debt in US Dollars.

How do you enjoy spending your time out of work?

I don’t seem to have a lot of it since moving to Dubai, but the beaches and restaurants offer a pretty good way to unwind. I used to play golf when I was studying, and am planning to give that another go over the winter and make the most of the great weather here at that time of year.

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