Boutique investment bank China Renaissance has appointed former JP Morgan banker Jeremy Choy as co-head of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and managing director, the firm said.
The Hong Kong-based Choy will lead the team alongside Lixing Wang, previously the sole head of M&A for the bank. Both Choy and Wang will report to Fan Bao, chairman and chief executive officer of China Renaissance.
Choy was an executive director on JP Morgan’s North Asia M&A team and a spokeswoman with the US bank confirmed his departure. He was a banker with Goldman Sachs prior to joining JP Morgan, and also worked at the boutique advisory PacBridge Capital Partners.
Choy joins China Renaissance at a time when its mergers and acquisitions franchise has grown thanks to connections within China technology circles and relationships with rising Chinese entrepreneurs. “M&A is becoming an increasingly important source of business for China Renaissance,” said Bao, the chairman and CEO, in a release.
The Chinese technology space is closely-knit. Companies know each other well and often strike deals without the involvement of outside advisers. In this respect, China Renaissance has captured a fair share of deals in the sector, edging out larger Wall Street firms such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Rival tech investment bankers have said that the company typically charges lower fees than global investment banks.
China Renaissance was the adviser to both Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache on their merger and subsequently was also retained as one of the advisers to Didi Kuaidi, the merged entity, for its $2 billion capital raising in July. It is also advising Qihoo 360 on its ongoing $9.1 billion privatisation, which if successful will be the largest US-listed Chinese company to be taken private.
Other tech deals it advised on include the merger of Chinese classified ad site 58.com and Ganji.com and Chinese online discount retailer Vipshop’s investment in Australian deals site Ensogo. In 2012, it advised on Youku’s $1 billion acquisition of rival Tudou.
Reflecting its growing activity, the firm has risen in league tables. According to data provider Dealogic, China Renaissance was placed 24th in China M&A league tables year-to-date, rising from the 64th place during the same period last year. In Asia ex-Japan M&A league tables, China Renaissance was placed 32nd in league tables year-to-date, rising from 112th position during the same period last year.
Beijing-headquartered China Renaissance was founded in 2004 and advises clients on private fund raising, public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, specializing in sectors such as technology, media and telecom companies, education, healthcare and consumer.