The job market in Asian investment banking may be flatlining right now, but keep an eye on China International Capital Corp during the second half of this year and beyond.
CICC yesterday named Bi Mingjian as its new chief executive and chairman – he takes over from long-serving chief executive Levin Zhu Yunlai, who resigned in October after only a year in the job. Aside from steadying the ship after a leadership vacuum, one of Bi’s main tasks will be to prepare the Beijing-based investment bank for an initial public offering, expected in the second half of the year.
If the post-IPO growth of other Chinese banks – in particular Haitong and Citic – are anything to go by, CICC’s listing should lead to business expansion and more hiring. The firm is expected to try to win back some of the IBD market share it has recently lost to rivals, especially in equity capital markets, reports the South China Morning Post. Hong Kong would be a natural location for it to hire more ECM bankers, given that the city has a larger talent pool in the sector than either Beijing or Shanghai.
But it must first convince bankers that joining CICC makes sound career sense – the firm has experienced retention problems of late. “CICC has been suffering from high employee turnover after losing its dominance over the lucrative IPO market,” Howhow Zhang, the head of research at Z-Ben Advisors, a Shanghai-based consultancy, told the SCMP. CICC last year lost Jiang Guorong, a co-head of investment banking, and Marshall Nicholson, a co-head of international investment banking.
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