THE head of Lehman Brothers' Asian equities division, Don MacLeod, has been replaced suddenly by general manager and chief operating officer Jarett Wait. Mr MacLeod was based in Tokyo while Mr Wait will remain in Hong Kong, effectively shifting the centre of Asian equity operations from Japan to the territory. A company spokesman said the move was not a strategic relocation but stemmed from Mr Wait's dual role within the company. Mr MacLeod will not be working out his notice period and staff at Lehman's Tokyo office said his desk already had been cleared. Mr MacLeod had been with the global investment bank for only two years, having been brought in from CS First Boston to head the 100 staff in the Asian equities division. Sources close to the company said the departure was not amicable. Mr MacLeod was well known for his outspoken views, blunt opinions and feisty management style. He was described by a fellow investment banker as someone who 'shot from both hips'. The move marks the latest in a series of top-level reshuffles at Lehman's Asian operations. At the beginning of this year, Lehman appointed a new chief of its Asian operations, Dan Tyree, to replace outgoing chief executive James Carbone. Mr Carbone was made head of Lehman Brothers Global Asset Management, a move some interpreted as a demotion, the result of a power struggle which led to his removal from the company's management committee. The changes came after a particularly turbulent 1994 for Lehman during which it sued two Chinese state-owned enterprises for US$100 million in an attempt to recover alleged derivative-related losses. The bank also was embroiled in a legal battle with China International Trust and Investment Corp (CITIC) over alleged losses incurred on commodities trades on the London Metal Exchange. This dispute eventually was settled amicably. Mr Wait has been with Lehman's for 14 years; spending two years in London as head of fixed income international sales and three years in the Tokyo office as a senior vice-president responsible for fixed-income sales for the Asia-Pacific region. He was unavailable for comment. Chairman and chief executive Dan Tyree said: 'We are very pleased Jarett will take charge of this important part of our global franchise.'