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16 top Chinese investment bankers you should know about

Global bulge brackets banks have had a good decade in China. Growing together with the banks are a bunch of senior Mainland Chinese and Hong Kong bankers who have made their names in the business. If you’re looking for a job in an international bank in China, you should know these people.

1. Stephen Wong, Hong Kong chairman of investment banking, Goldman Sachs

Stephen Wong was promoted to this position in January 2015. Previously he was Goldman’s head of coverage for Hong Kong investment banking clients. He used to work on deals with Chinese clients such as China Resources Land and Country Garden.

Wong actually grew up in San Francisco in the US, but spent his entire banking career in Hong Kong. He is an fan of baseball and once used a career break writing a book about it.

2. Catherine Cai, China investment banking head, Citigroup

Cai took up this role in March this year. She joined Citi from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where she was also the chairman of China investment banking.

Cai has over 20 years’ experience in China’s investment banking world, and has extensive networks with China-based clients, especially some large state-owned enterprises (SOEs). She used to work on deals that involve SOEs such as China Telecom, China Mobile, Cosco, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).

3. David Li, Senior country officer for China, J.P.Morgan

Li took up this position a little over a year ago. He joined J.P. Morgan from UBS, where he was chairman and country head of the firm. Some say he joined at a quite sensitive time as J.P. Morgan’s chief executive for China investment banking Fang Fang just left the firm in March 2014 amid probes from the US authorities into its hiring practice in Asia.

Before returning to Asia, Li used to work at Citigroup in New York. He holds and MBA from the prestigious Wharton Business School.

4. David Lau, head of global investment banking for Hong Kong, J.P.Morgan

Lau was made head of global investment banking for Hong Kong in June 2015. Previously he was head of China corporate finance practice for J.P.Morgan. He has been with J.P.Morgan for over 20 years. He will continue to be in charge of the corporate finance business even after the promotion.

Lau came into spotlight in October 2014 during the Occupy Central movement in Hong Kong, when he unexpectedly interrupted a webcast interview with some pro-democracy protesters to express his frustration with the movement.

5. Eugene Qian, China President, UBS

Before rejoining UBS as president and China country head for UBS, Qian was the head of Citigroup’s China businesses. But he left in January this year and joined UBS in June.

This is the second time Qian works for UBS. His first stint was from 1996 to 2003, during which he worked in UBS’s investment banking division in Hong Kong, before he went on to Deutsche Bank to work as head of natural resources in Asia ex-Japan. He then joined Citigroup in 2007 to become head of China corporate and investment banking and later co-head of China investment banking.

6. Wei Cai, FountainVest Partners, former co-head of China investment banking, UBS

Cai left UBS in July this year and will start at FountainVest in August. He spent five years at UBS as co-head of China investment banking.

Before UBS, Cai worked for Morgan Stanley for about four years, during which he worked on deals for Chinese firms such as Tianjin Port, Guangzhou Auto Group and advertiser AirMedia Group.

7. Guorong Jiang, co-head, China investment banking, UBS

Jiang moved to UBS and took up this role in May 2014. He joined from China International Capital Corporation (CICC), where he worked for 10 years and was co-head of its investment banking at the time of leaving.

With a PhD in economics from Cornell University, Jiang was trained as an economist and used to work for the Bank for International Settlements, the International Monetary fund and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

8. James Tam, co-head of M&A, Asia-Pacific investment banking, Morgan Stanley

Starting at Morgan Stanley more than 17 years ago, Tam is a veteran of the bank in Asia. He joined the M&A department in 2010 and has been focusing on China deals. The most notable transactions recently is China’s Shuanghui International Holding’s acquisition of US’s Smithfield Food.

At 38 years of age, Tam is a young managing director at a global bulge bracket.

9. Jing Qian & Richard Chen, co-head of china investment banking, Morgan Stanley

Qian moved to Morgan Stanley from Deutsche Bank, where she was co-head of China investment banking. She has over 15 years’ experience in banking and worked across a number of sectors.

Unlike Qian, Chen has been with Morgan Stanley for more than ten years. He used to work on the China team but also spent a good chunk of the time on Asia-Pacific natural resources team. He moved back to lead the China team at the end of 2014 together with Qian.

10. ZhiZhong Yang, Chairman and CEO of China, Nomura

Yang has been in this post for over two years. Before Nomura, he spent many years of his career with Lehman Brothers – the Wall Street giant which fell in the financial crisis and whose European operations was later acquired by Nomura. Yang was managing director and head of investment banking for China at Lehman Brothers since September 2004.

Before that, Yang was a managing director at Morgan Stanley’s China investment banking division, where he worked on deals across a number of different sectors.

11. George Chow & Zeth Hung, co-heads of Greater China investment banking, Credit Suisse

The pair were appointed to the current roles in April 2015. What’s notable is that these two roles were newly-created, and Chow & Hung are tasked to expand the bank’s Greater China client base.

Both of them Credit Suisse veterans. Chow joined Credit Suisse First Boston in April 2004 from UBS, while Hung joined even earlier in 1998. Hung has worked extensively on some big China-related transactions including ICBC’s dual offering, China Life’s dual listing and China Construction Bank’s IPO. All these are China’s large state-owned enterprises.

12. Alex To, co-head of Asia-Pacific investment banking, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

To was promoted to the current role in June 2015. Previously he was head of China investment banking, which was given to him when he joined BAML in September 2014. He joined from Morgan Stanley, where he was in a similar role of chairman of China investment banking.

One of the most prominent deals To worked on happened in 2013, when China’s largest meat processor, then known as Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd, acquired US’s Smithfield Foods. That was the largest-ever Chinese takeover of an American company, and Morgan Stanley advised Shuanghui on the deal.

13. Che-Ning Liu, co-head of banking for Asia-Pacific, HSBC

Liu was appointed to this role in June 2014. Before that, he was head of banking for Greater China and based in Hong Kong.

A member of the banking strategy committee of HSBC, Liu joined the bank from Morgan Stanley in 2009 and built up HSBC’s presence in the Greater China region, namely Hong Kong, Mainland China and Taiwan.

14. Zhaohui Huang, co-head of investment banking, China International Capital Corporation

Huang joined CICC in 1998 with about ten years of experience in some of China’s largest commercial banks. He later became a leading banker at CICC and got involved in some notable deals such as ICBC’s IPO in 2006 — the world’s largest IPO at that time.

He used to work together with Guorong Jiang as the pair took charge of CICC’s investment banking business between them. After Jiang left for UBS in 2014, Huang remained as co-head of investment banking.

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