Investment banks in North Asia want to beef up their teams covering booming Chinese technology companies this year – trouble is, these same firms seem set on poaching their senior bankers.
In the latest bank-to-tech move, Finance Asia reports that Loh Long Hsiang, Standard Chartered’s deputy head of China origination and client coverage, is joining Dianrong.com, a peer-to-peer lender, as its chief operating officer.
While some people are going to in-house M&A roles at Chinese corporates (where they essentially act as internal bankers), Loh’s move shows that tech firms value bankers for their senior management skills as well as their financial expertise. Loh has been tasked with improving the day-to-day management of Dianrong, according to an internal memo seen by Finance Asia.
And management opportunities are a key incentive for moving. “Senior bankers are being poached by the emerging tech firms – who can offer them strategic leadership positions and the chance to actually shape company policy,” says a Hong Kong headhunter who asked not to be named.
Loh is far from the only high-profile banker to have been recruited by an expansionist mainland tech company recently. Winston Cheng, the former head of technology for Asia at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, was hired by LeTV as head of corporate finance and development in August. That same month Alibaba named former Goldman Sachs partner Michael Evans as its president, focusing on international expansion.
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