The bank is hiring 320 people, including 70 to focus on investment banking coverage, said a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified while discussing confidential information. He plans to add 100 more employees until the end of 2021, and many additions this year fill newly created roles, the person said.
Goldman and rivals vie for talent as China fully opens up its $ 54 trillion financial market to foreign brokers and asset managers. After being slowed down by the pandemic, regional manager Todd Leland is now rushing to implement a strategy in China that includes the acquisition of 100% of a securities firm and the establishment of a new unit of asset management on the continent.
The five-year plan presented to the board at the end of 2019 called for doubling Goldman’s workforce to 600 in China and expanding into consulting, securities and wealth management.
A media representative in Hong Kong declined to comment on the recruitments.
With billions of dollars in profits at stake, global banks are looking beyond growing political tensions between the West and China for everything from human rights abuses in Xinjiang to cracking down on political dissent in Hong Kong. Other companies such as UBS Group AG, Credit Suisse Group AG and HSBC Holdings Plc have presented plans to add what amounts to thousands of workers in China.
International banks are simultaneously dumping billions of fresh dollars into the country. Goldman increased its exposure by 33% to $ 17.5 billion last year.
Like other global companies, its push into China was slowed by the virus outbreak in 2020. Plans are now being implemented faster as the Chinese economy emerges from the pandemic at a record pace and flows transactions increase.
The new hires will support companies in China and Hong Kong and will not include global support centers like Singapore and Bangalore. Last month, Goldman also gave a second Chinese partner responsibility for its local investment banking operations. Sean Fan has been appointed co-head of the investment bank for China, leaving the merchant bank to lead the business alongside Wei Cai. Both became partners in 2018.
The bank is closing its gap against Morgan Stanley, the longtime leader of global Chinese equity deals, as it deploys more capital in the Chinese region. Goldman is ranked 2nd this year, dropping from 5th in 2020, its best performance since 2014, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The two Wall Street banks share about 12% of the $ 119 billion Chinese equity subscription this year.
In December of last year, the bank signed a definitive agreement with its partner to buy the 49% of Goldman Sachs Gao Hua that it does not already own. He is now waiting for the green light from regulators to close the deal, rushing to become the first Wall Street bank to own 100% of its securities joint venture.
At the end of last year, the company had 40,500 people worldwide, of which 28% were in Asia.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is also getting closer to full ownership of its securities business after increasing its stake to 71% in November. He recently transferred his director of investment banking in China to Shanghai from Hong Kong as general manager of onshore activities. Credit Suisse net hires for Asia Pacific have exceeded 100 so far this year. Citigroup Inc. is working to build new investment banking and trading operations and plans to submit license applications by June.
(Updates to the classification of equity transactions in the 9th paragraph.)