Goldman Sachs has added Bill Chu as a managing director to its China investment banking team in anticipation of a pickup in cross-border deal making, according to an internal memo on Monday seen by FinanceAsia.
Chu, who most recently led Deutsche Bank’s Asia consumer and retail coverage based in Hong Kong, will move to Beijing.
It is relatively rare for Goldman to make lateral hires from other investment banks, so Chu’s move underscores the priority the bank is placing on China coverage.
“Bill’s appointment is part of our focus on strategic hires as we concentrate our resources on the anticipated growth in China corporate activity over the medium and long-term,” the memo said.
Banks have consistently made the bulk of their fees across Asia Pacific by serving Chinese clients, and Goldman is looking to grab a bigger share of the fee pool. The US bank is ranked 18 in Greater China core investment banking revenues in 2017 year to date, down from number 14 from the same period last year, according to data provider Dealogic.
Dealmaking in China has slowed in the run up to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party, set to take place this fall. However investment-banking sources expect a pick up after the meeting of China’s top leadership when future policy is clearer.
Chu’s hire also reflects the bank’s shift towards coverage bankers across Asia, capable of providing advice across a variety of sectors, and the memo said more hires would be announced at a later date.
Goldman laid off 15% of their Asian investment banking team late last year after pivoting away from industry specialist bankers. Falling fees and competition from Chinese banks ate into the company’s bottom line, and the bank streamlined its corporate finance staff to boost accountability and profitability.
Earlier in his career Chu led Deutsche’s coverage of Chinese energy and utility companies.
Prior to investment banking, Chu, who has an engineering background, held positions at various power companies in both the US and China. His LinkedIn profile lists roles at Hitachi Ltd and Amec Foster Wheeler, as well as an MBA from New York University and an M.S., Energy from Tulane University. He went to college in mainland China.