BoA Merrill promotes Cai and Wang in China

Catherine Cai and Bing Wang are appointed co-heads of China investment banking, leaving Erh Fei Liu to focus on his role as China country executive.
Catherine Cai

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has promoted Catherine Cai and Bing Wang to co-heads of China investment banking, according to an internal announcement. The move will free up time for Erh Fei Liu to focus on his role as China country executive. Liu previously also held the title as head of China investment banking.

As country executive, Liu is overseeing the investment bank, as well as the corporate bank and the global treasury solutions business, and by putting Cai and Wang in charge of the investment bank, the division of labour will become clearer. If nothing else, it should be good for the bank’s corporate governance in China. The new structure is similarly to that put in place in the region after the hire of Matthew Koder as head of the corporate and investment banking business in Asia earlier this year, insiders say. The bank also has a similar structure in India.

Bing Wang

“As we continue to build our China franchise to match the scale of the opportunities in the market, it is important that we create the appropriate infrastructure and a strong management team,” the bank’s co-heads of Asia-Pacific investment banking, Jayanti Bajpai and Jiro Seguchi, said in the internal announcement.

Cai and Wang are both experienced bankers with proven track records, who have made valuable contributions to the bank’s China franchise during the past decade and developed long-standing relationships across both the state-owned and private sectors, the announcement continued. In their new roles, they will report to Bajpai and Seguchi and will also be accountable to Liu.

Erh Fei Liu

In practice, the promotions are likely to have little impact on the day-to-day work in China, however. Liu, Cai and Wang are already the top three investment bankers in China and Liu will continue to meet key clients and deal with the government and the regulators. Meanwhile, the bank is unlikely to name any replacements for Cai and Wang in their previous positions.

Cai was most recently vice-chairman of China investment banking. She has 18 years of experience in the industry, having started her career with Smith Barney in New York in 1993.

Wang has been head of China corporate finance since he rejoined BoA Merrill Lynch in 2009 after a brief stint away from the industry. He previously worked with Merrill Lynch from 2004 to 2008, both in investment banking and global private equity. Before joining Merrill he worked at Goldman Sachs, where he began his career.

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