Citic CLSA hires Zhao Yu to raise China coverage

Citic CLSA Securities has appointed Zhao Yu to head China corporate financing and capital markets, a newly created role.

Citic CLSA Securities has appointed Zhao Yu as its head of China corporate financing and capital markets, a newly created role for the brokerage and investment firm and a signal of the growing ambition of the joint venture investment bank to expand its China-related business.

A television producer-turned banker, Zhao joined Citic CLSA Securities on Thursday from CIMB, where she was head of China investment bank and corporate client solutions for about four years. She will continue to be based in Hong Kong, according to an internal memo seen by FinanceAsia and her LinkedIn page.

“She has been appointed to expand our China team as we forsee a number of opportunities for China related deals in 2016," a CLSA spokesperson told FinanceAsia on Friday. “She will be working closely with colleagues in China.”

Citic CLSA Securities is an investment bank joint venture between Hong Kong-based brokerage CLSA, and China-based parent company Citic Securities. The bank currently runs a Greater China team of more than 50 banking executives who focus on domestic and cross-border deals in the region, nearly half of its overall headcount of 120 banking executives.

“2015 has been a record year for revenues in our China business and the addition of Ms Zhao brings additional senior origination strength to the China team,” Andrew Low, head of corporate finance and capital markets at Citic CLSA Securities, said in the internal memo.

According to data provider Dealogic, CLSA and its parent company Citic Securities, China’s largest brokerage by assets, continue to top the league rankings for investment banking revenue in the Greater China region, with $389 million so far this year. UBS and China Securities follow with $219 million and $217 million, respectively.

Citic Securities has also more than doubled its banking revenue in the Greater China region this year, after acquiring CLSA in 2013, when it recorded $167 million and ranked No.8.

IPO deal-maker

Before CIMB, Zhao worked as a managing director at JP Morgan from 2009 to 2011 and as an executive director at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse from 2004 to 2009, her LinkedIn page shows.

Over the course of her career she has helped to lead a number of landmark transactions including the initial public offerings of Alibaba, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, and China Life, according to CLSA.

Zhao, who holds an MBA degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, will report to Low and to Wang Changhong, the bank's head of Greater China corporate finance and capital markets.

Reflecting the growing strength of its team and presence in the Greater China region, CLSA and Citic Securities together have risen up the bank league rankings. For instance, in terms of deal value the two firms lead the regional equity and debt capital market tables so far this year, with about $16 billion and $49 billion, respectively.

Zhao is also the latest senior banker that CLSA has snapped up since being purchased by Citic Securities. In December 2014, the bank hired Low from Macquarie Capital Advisers to head its investment banking operations globally.

Low, whose expertise is mainly in mergers and acquisitions, oversees the expansion of Citic Securities’s international investment banking activities through its alliance with CLSA, and manages CLSA’s banking teams across Asia. 

This article has been amended to reflect the fact Zhao Yu has been employed by Citic CLSA Securities, not CLSA, and Andrew Low works for Citic CLSA Securities, not CLSA.

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