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Morning Coffee: Hiring spree on cards at big Asian bank

CICC on post-IPO hiring spree

Starting a spree

CICC has reportedly applied to the Hong Kong stock exchange for a US$1bn initial public offering that could happen as soon as September. IPOs at large Chinese banks don’t just led to a cash injection – they typically also trigger more hiring.

The post-IPO headcount growth of other Chinese banks – in particular Haitong and Citic, which listed in 2012 and 2011 respectively – suggests that CICC will need to hire as it expands its business in the wake of its listing. A headhunter we spoke to in Hong Kong said he would “be surprised” if the Beijing investment bank didn’t look to recruit more bankers later this year. Chinese firms have in the past lured bankers from Western rivals by offering them one-year guaranteed bonuses – a tactic CICC is likely to employ.

But what kind of investment bankers will CICC want to recruit? While it initially forged a reputation as an advisor to state-owned mainland firms going public in Hong Kong, under new leader Bi Mingjian it is trying to diversity after losing ground to rivals like Citic. Expect new hires to be well versed in serving the needs of acquisition-hungry companies in China’s private sector.


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