Goldman Sachs builds Asia industrials team

Tom Fennimore moves to Beijing from New York as part of Goldman Sachs's efforts to build its industrials team in Asia.

Goldman Sachs has been building its Asia industrials coverage team during the past few months, topped off last week with the relocation of Tom Fennimore from New York to the bank's Beijing office.

Fennimore formerly ran the global automotive business from New York, so he joins the group with significant industrials experience. Fennimore joins Goldman's senior Industrials group bankers Lauren Dang, who is also in Beijing and brings China financing experience to the table, and Masaaki Matsuzawa, who is based in Hong Kong and has regional M&A and financing experience. All three are managing directors.

It's a bold move by the bank's management, which clearly recognises that while Goldman Sachs had what many banks term a general industries group, or GIG, in the past few years the bank has been more heavily focused on the consumer sector, as evidenced by the deals they would typically present to FinanceAsia during the awards pitches at the end of the year.

"We weren't covering the area with the right level of resources," said Ravi Sinha, co-head of investment banking. "Now we are completely focused on it with these three people as the backbone of the group."  

The rationale of putting together a team in Asia that includes a specialist from New York is that the team should be balanced. A banker with relationships in the region will help bring clients and local knowledge -- but often those clients go to the bank with questions about what's available for sale or what is considered best practice in the world, and so global industry expertise is therefore very important.

"We want to blend local coverage talent -- people who have relationships and contacts -- with Goldman Sachs's global sector talent and experience," concluded Sinha. "While our hiring is very focused on Beijing, we continue to grow across the region as well."

The bank plans to grow its investment banker headcount in Beijing by 50% this year, as evidenced by the increasing number of senior bankers it places there.

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