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Alibaba swoops for Goldman banker, J.P. Morgan bulks up in asset management

Senior bankers have been making a lot of moves in the APAC region over the last week. Often this means hires down the ladder will be happening soon enough. Here’s what you need to know.

Alibaba appoints former Goldman banker as president

Alibaba may not be a bank (although it’s rapidly building up its finance arm), but it’s surely realized that it needs a banker’s assistance in furthering its global ambitions. The appointment of Michael Evans, a former Goldman Sachs senior banker, shows that.

Evans retired from Goldman last year but remains to be an independent director on the board. A partner at Goldman for 20 years, he has been a veteran banker on Wall Street, almost a legend as he was a gold medalist in Canada’s men’s rowing team in the 1984 Olympic Games.

His role as president will make Evans the most senior foreign executive in Alibaba. He will be overseeing Alibaba’s global expansion and will lead the task of getting more and more foreign brands to Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms. It won’t be easy, as Alibaba has been plagued by fake goods for quite some time.

JP Morgan AM appointed new APAC Chief

JP Morgan Asset Management has appointed Michael Falcon as its new Asia-Pacific CEO. At the same time, Falcon will serve as the head of global investment management (GIM) for Asia Pacific too. This makes the reporting line slightly complicated, as Falcon will report to GIM chief executive Chris Willcox for his regional CEO responsibilities, and also to GIM clients head George Gatch for his funds business role.

Falcon was previously head of Asia-Pacific funds business at JP Morgan AM. In his new role, he aims to make China his top priority. “Without question China is a place where you have to not just think about it but act on it aggressively. We really want to grow there,” he told AsianInvestor.

Chinese regulation official moves to ICBC

Wang Lin, director of the Securities and Fund Institutions Supervision Department at the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC, the regulatory body overseeing China’s securities market), will be moving to ICBC and take up a new role as the secretary of the discipline inspection committee.

According to a new ranking of the world’s biggest banks, ICBC is currently the world’s largest bank by total assets. It now has assets worth almost US$3.5 trillion, larger than Britain’s 2014 nominal GDP, which stands at US$3.1 trillion.

ICBC vice-president moves to Minsheng Bank

Vice president of ICBC Zheng Wanchun is said to be moving to China Minsheng Bank – China’s largest private bank by assets. Zheng is poised to be the bank’s president and the appointment is said to be cleared by the regulator.

Zheng, a veteran Chinese banker who first joined ICBC in 1991, has honed his capital market skills in the past two decades by holding various senior roles in China’s banking industry. This not only includes traditional banking business at ICBC, but also involves a few stints at China Huarong Asset Management and China Great Wall Asset Management, both established at the end of the 1990s to deal with the non-performing loans problems at China’s state-owned banks.

The position of president at Minsheng Bank has been vacant since January following the resignation of the previous president Mao Xiaofeng. It is reported that Mao was detained by the police to assist in a corruption investigation that involved Ling Jihua, the former chief of staff of retired president Hu Jintao.

Goldman Sachs makes hire on Asian convertible bonds

Goldman Sachs has hired Dave Sandor to head its work on origination and execution of convertible bonds in Asia ex-Japan, filling a long-vacant position. He will be based in Hong Kong.

Sandor joins from Morgan Stanley, where he was an executive director responsible for equity-linked transactions in Asia. However, Sandor will still be an executive director after moving to Goldman Sachs, meaning he’s not been bumped up in the new job.

Prior to Morgan Stanley, Sandor used to work for Standard Chartered and Citibank, both in Hong Kong.

Standard Chartered has a new chief risk officer

Bill Winters, CEO of Standard Chartered, just had a reshuffle of the bank’s senior management around mid-July, in which he announced a new management team that is expected to help him turn the bank around from its plight in the last few years. In that management team, the chief risk officer was Pam Walkden, but he was performing it on an interim basis.

Now Mark Smith will officially take over from Pam Walkden, but that won’t happen until January, as Smith is currently the chief risk officer for Europe, Middle East and Africa at HSBC, a rival of StanChart.

Once on board, Smith will be in charge of credit, market and operational risk and will report directly to Bill Winters. He will be based in London.

Nomura hires two DCM bankers

Japanese bank Nomura has this week made two hires for its debt capital markets team for Asia ex-Japan.

Jonathan Yip will join as head of China DCM – a newly-created role, while Shantanu Sahai will join for the entire Asia ex-Japan. Both will be executive directors.

Deutsche Bank loses its IB head for Southeast Asia

Parvati Banati, Deutsche Bank’s head of investment banking in Southeast Asia based in Singapore, has left the bank last week, amid a time when major M&A activities are on a decline.

Banati had been with Deutsche since 2010. Prior to that, she worked for UBS for about 14 years.

BMO Private Bank Asia appoints CEO

BMO Private Bank, the international private banking arm of Bank of Montreal, named Monique Chan as its Asia CEO.

Chan joins from Edmond De Rothschild Group, where she was CEO and head of Asia. Once at BMO, She will report to Myra Cridland, head of BMO private banking, and to Albert Yu, chief executive of BMO Financial Group in Asia.

The appointment came at a time when BMO is looking to expand in Asia. In an interview with AsianInvestor, Myra Cridland said that the firm will hire an undisclosed number of new relationship managers (RMs). But at the moment, it only has 20 RMs, far from being in the ranks of top private banks in Asia.

Natixis names APAC head of corporate advisory

The French investment bank named Raghu Narain as the head of its Asia-Pacific corporate advisory division. Naraon joins from RBS Asia, where he was managing director and head of global industrials group (GIG).

Meanwhile, Natixis also appointed Yves Shen as a director of the corporate advisory team. Shen joins from RBS too.

Allianz Global Investors loses regional head of institutions

Allianz Global Investors is set to lose Elvin Yu, its Hong Kong-based head of institutional business for Greater China and Southeast Asia.

But Yu will not be replaced immediately. His regional responsibilities will instead be shared between Adam Phua, APAC head of international business and consultant relations, and Jenny Yu, head of retail distribution for Greater China, according to AsianInvestor.

Nikko makes senior promotions in Asia

Nikko Asset Management has promoted Eleanor Seet to head of Asia ex-Japan. At the same time it has promoted Yasuaki Ogiwara to president of Nikko AM in Hong Kong.

After the promotion, Seet will report to Takumi Shibata, president and CEO of Nikko AM, while Ogiwara will report to Seet.

Before the promotion, Seet worked for 15 years at places like Barclays and Blackrock, while Ogiwara used to be the president of Nomura Asset Management, based in Hong Kong.



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