Giant $93bn Softbank Vision Fund has been quietly poaching investment bankers

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The world's biggest tech investment fund has quietly been poaching from the junior ranks of bulge bracket investment banks, big buyout firms and top consultants.

Softbank’s Vision Fund, the $93bn giant backed by sovereign wealth funds and large corporations like Apple to invest in technology start-ups, has been hiring analysts and associates from the M&A teams of investment banks, large buyout firms and Big Three consultants in both London and San Francisco.

In London, Paul Davison, who spent five years at Rothschild, working across its TMT M&A and leveraged finance teams, joined in October. Lucio Di Ciaccio, an analyst at the Carlyle Group and an Astronautical Engineering graduate from MIT, was hired for the Vision Fund’s investment team earlier this month. They follow Louis Cho, a former associate at J.P. Morgan, who joined in May.

In San Francisco, Softbank has been hiring even more enthusiastically. Jessica Xu, a former analyst at Citigroup, joined its investment team in November as did Justin Nam, a former healthcare M&A analyst at Evercore and Kevin Chang, an analyst at J.P. Morgan.

Meanwhile, Hatim Sukhla, who worked at Goldman Sachs before moving into private equity – and who was latterly in a strategy role at consumer group The Honest Company – signed up earlier this month, as did Mihir Jain from the investment team from Boston Consulting Group, where he was an associate.

In June, Softbank reportedly had 15-20 people investing its money in offices in Mayfair, San Francisco and Toyko and had plans to hire “dozens” more people for its newly formed investment team. Its London office is now reportedly 25 people-strong.

Rajeev Misra, who headed up global credit trading at Deutsche Bank, has been leading up Softbank’s huge tech fund since January and has been tapping his former colleagues. Colin Fan, the former head of Deutsche’s investment banking and trading unit, joined in June. Akshay Naheta, a former Deutsche Bank proprietary trader, and Saleh Romeih, a former Deutsche Bank MD who left for Goldman Sachs in 2013 and Manish Varma, who was head of UK lending and deposits and structured solutions at Deutsche, all joined this year.

Softbank’s fund, which has received commitments from the Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, Apple and Mubadala (one of a number of state-owned investment firms in the United Arab Emirates) has also been hiring for its operational staff.

Financial News reported a number of HR, admin and accounting appointments in October, and this recruitment spree has continued.

Victoria James, a former senior associate at PwC has signed up as an associate in its operations team and Raymond Birch, who worked in PwC’s management consulting division, joined as a VP of liability and currency management Spencer Collins, who was a secondee from lawyers White & Case since May, joined full time as legal lead on its M&A transaction team in October.

Have a tip, story or comment? Contact: pclarke@efinancialcareers.com

Photo: Getty Images

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