CICC loses another key executive

Marshall Nicholson has resigned as co-head of international investment banking; the latest departure from the Chinese bank.

Marshall Nicholson, managing director and co-head of international investment banking at China International Capital Corp (CICC), has resigned after two years with the Chinese bank.

Nicholson resigned last week and is on gardening leave, according to a person close to the situation, and it is not clear yet what his next move will be.  

He joined CICC from Bank of China International (BOCI), where he was the first senior foreign banker at Bank of China’s investment banking arm. His last position at BOCI was global head of equity capital markets and vice-chairman of investment banking.

Prior to working at the Chinese banks, Nicholson worked with Macquarie and Credit Suisse. Before he came to Asia in 2002, he worked as an investment banker at JP Morgan and Merrill Lynch in New York for 10 years.

Nicholson’s departure comes after it emerged that Jiang Guorong, CICC’s co-head of investment banking, will soon join UBS to help run its Chinese IB business.

Last year the Chinese bank also lost a number of key people. In March 2013 it lost Wang Qing, who joined CICC from Morgan Stanley to be a managing director and deputy head of investment banking.  In February that year, three top-ranking analysts – Jin Yu, Xu Xiaoqing and Zhao Xiaoguang – also resigned from the bank.

Nicholson’s departure has again attracted attention to CICC and its staff retention issues. “It’s normal that people are jumping ship. But the company needs to reconsider its business strategies and development model if too many staff leave in a short period,” said an investment banker with a rival bank.

However, some people thought otherwise. “It [the loss of staff] may be related to CICC’s IPO plan. Companies who are planning listings usually tend to cut headcount and thus cost,” said another banker with a Chinese brokerage.

CICC is targeting a Hong Kong listing this year and the bank has set up a special team focusing on the listing.

The bank was China’s largest investment bank until 2011, in terms of volume of deals underwritten, and ranked 4th during the past year, as of May 16, according to Dealogic data. 

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