Jack Ma-backed Hong Kong fintech firm has hired a new brokerage head from Goldman Sachs

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Yunfeng Financial Group, the Hong Kong financial technology firm backed by Alibaba billionaire Jack Ma, has hired a senior Goldman Sachs technologist as its head of brokerage.

Yali Zhu has joined Yunfeng at managing director level, according to her online profile. She had been at Goldman for 12 years and was latterly an executive director and strategist for its Asia credit desk.

Yunfeng, which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange Main Board, provides online services in wealth management, brokerage, corporate finance, stock options and investment research to individual, institutional and corporate clients.

Its brokerage arm, now headed up by Zhu, primarily runs the mobile app ‘Youyu Stock’, which gives investors market data and trading service for Hong Kong and US equities and stocks under the Shanghai and Shenzhen connect programmes.

Zhu is far from the only senior Goldman employee to join a company founded or backed by Ma, the second richest person in China.

Li Yuan, Yunfeng’s head of wealth management, worked in Goldman’s asset management team in Hong Kong and Tokyo for more than nine years.

In 2015, Alibaba appointed 20-year Goldman veteran Michael Evans as its president, and a year later named another ex-Goldmanite, Douglas Feagin, as head of international business for its online finance arm, Ant Financial Services. As we noted last month, Alibaba has been hiring from Goldman and other investment banks at middle-management level, too.

Zhu joined Goldman’s Tokyo office as a Java developer in 2005 after graduating with a Masters in Computer Science from Peking University. She moved to Hong Kong in 2010 and focused on building trading systems based on systematic trading strategies. She was the main developer on several in-house projects at Goldman.

Image credit:  ansonmiao, Getty

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