Gary Chan resigns as head of ECM at ICBCI

Kenneth Chan, an ex-Citi banker, is promoted as his replacement with immediate effect.

Gary Chan has resigned from his position as head of global equity capital markets at ICBC International after less than two years in the job, a source said yesterday. He is currently on gardening leave but will join a new firm in Hong Kong in a few months.

ICBCI, the international investment banking arm of China’s largest lender, International and Commercial Bank of China, has acted swiftly to fill the gap, appointing Kenneth Chan as the new head of ECM. Chan, who was previously with Citi, is one of several hires made by ICBCI from international banks in the past few years.

Gary Chan was lured over from Macquarie in the spring of 2011 to help build a competitive ECM platform. This is obviously not done overnight, particularly in light of last year’s declining deal volumes, but the bank has started to gain some traction. It is leveraging the group’s lending relationships and massive balance sheet to win IPO mandates and in January it acted as a joint bookrunner on its first block trade — a $131 million sell-down in Digital China Holdings by the chairman that was upsized by 33%.

However, several bankers who have attempted the transition from an international firm to a Chinese investment bank have noted the difference in working environments and the difficulty in getting things done at the Chinese firms. The fact that Chan is choosing to leave after less than two years, just as ICBCI is starting to accumulate some business, could be another reflection of this.

Chan joined Macquarie in 2005 to help build an ECM team after the Australian bank acquired ING Baring’s equity platform in Asia. His initial role was head of syndicate and some 18 months later he became head of Greater China ECM, a job that he still had when he was headhunted by ICBC in April 2011.

Before moving to Macquarie, he worked with ABN Amro Rothschild and BZW in Sydney for a total of eight years. BZW in Australia was taken over by ABN Amro during his time there.

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