Goldman Sachs has appointed Mark Machin as vice-chairman for Asia ex-Japan, according to an internal announcement. The new position will see Machin, currently co-head of investment banking for Asia ex-Japan, take on a more strategic role at the firm in which he will work with the regional leadership in Asia, and particularly in China, to drive the growth and direction of its China franchise across divisions.
Vice-chairman titles can be largely advisory, but in this case, stressed a source, Machin will by no means be winding down. In fact he will remain a banker and will continue to be involved with key clients and to lead deal teams, but will also put his long experience in Asia and China to work to help refine Goldman’s strategy with regard to its business in China and the rest of the region. Already based in Beijing, he will be the senior-most Goldman representative ever to work out of the Chinese capital.
China is one of the firm’s most “critical and complex growth markets”, according to the internal announcement, and [Machin’s] appointment reflects Goldman’s continuing investment in senior management talent to advance its strategy in this market.
Machin’s promotion means that David Ryan will become the sole head of investment banking in the region. Machin and Ryan have shared that job since April last year, when Ryan replaced Ravi Sinha who retired from the bank after just two years in Asia.
This appointment also comes just two weeks after Goldman confirmed that it had appointed Ryan and Yusuf Alireza, head of Goldman’s securities division in Asia (including Japan), to co-presidents for Asia ex-Japan. This is a new role at the firm that will see them take on day-to-day responsibility for Goldman’s businesses in the region -- in addition to their existing jobs -- as Asia chairman Michael Evans has been given expanded global responsibilities that will keep him out of the region more frequently. Ryan and Alireza were also given seats on Goldman’s global management committee, bringing the total number of Asia-based representatives on this executive committee to four.
Machin’s elevation to vice-chairman should put to an end to any lingering speculation that he is being left behind at the firm, rumours which started when he relocated to Beijing from Hong Kong in 2009 and were given further fuel by Ryan’s rapid ascension to co-president. In his new role, Machin will report directly to Evans but will also have a reporting line to the two co-presidents.
Stressing his continued involvement with the investment banking side of the business, Machin will also become a member of the newly formed IBD (investment banking division) Asia executive committee, which has been set up to coordinate divisional strategy, priorities and resources in the region as Goldman continues to invest heavily in this business. The other members of this new executive committee are: Masanori Mochida, president of Goldman Sachs Japan; Jin-Yong Cai, head of IBD in China; Dan Dees, head of the financing group; Shahriar Tadjbakhsh, chief operating officer of IBD Japan; and David Ryan, who in addition to his roles as co-president and head of investment banking for the region, is also chairman of Southeast Asia.
Machin joined Goldman in 1991 and came to Asia in 1994. Since then he has been instrumental in the build-out of the firm’s investment banking business in the region through his leadership on franchise-defining transactions like the IPOs of China Mobile, PetroChina, the Hong Kong Tracker Fund and MTR Corp.
He became regional head of equity capital markets in 2001, then moved on to head the financing group in 2003 and in 2005 took over as head of the investment banking division – a role that he shared first with Richard Ong and then later with Ravi Sinha and David Ryan. He was named a managing director in 2000 and a partner in 2002.
In an article written for FinanceAsia in May last year as part of our 10-year anniversary coverage, Machin noted that the real China growth story in the past decade has been in the domestic market, where issuance volume has grown from $12 billion in 2000 to $36 billion in 2010 (the YTD figure at the time the article was published), the number of listed companies has increased by 70% and the market capitalisation has swelled by more than 400%.
In the same piece he projected that in the next 10 years there will be increased convergence of the Hong Kong and domestic China capital markets. “My view is that both will thrive and grow and one will not totally eclipse the other,” he said and added that China will also become “more like the developed capital markets in the world in terms of depth and maturity”.
This development is obviously something Goldman is aiming to play a key part in through its China joint venture with Gao Hua Securities, but, as Machin’s new role shows, the firm also continues to add resources to expand its overall China franchise, both on- and offshore.