One of Goldman Sachs’s most senior bankers in Asia, Richard Campbell-Breeden, is relocating to London from Hong Kong at a time when Asian companies are ramping up their overseas acquisitions, according to an internal memo seen by FinanceAsia on Wednesday.
Campbell-Breeden will not immediately take on a new title and specific role but will broadly look after clients across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa and travel frequently between Europe and Asia.
An increasing number of European companies are attracting Chinese buyers and Campbell-Breeden is looking to use his experience in Asia to help deals happen. The volume of China outbound mergers and acquisitions hit a record $92.2 billion in the first quarter, making it the largest acquiring nation globally. That includes ChemChina's agreement on February 3 to buy Swiss-headquartered Syngenta for $44.1 billion excluding debt, the biggest China outbound M&A deal to date.
The Goldman Sachs memo was signed by the US bank’s co-chief executive officer Richard Gnodde, who also worked in Asia and moved back to London in 2005, initially also without a specific portfolio.
Another senior Goldman Sachs banker, Jonathan Penkin, moved back to London from Hong Kong last year to head equity capital markets across growth markets.
British native Campbell-Breeden was vice chairman of Goldman Sachs’s investment banking division in Asia Pacific excluding Japan and chairman of the mergers and acquisitions group in the region. He is a member of the Asia Pacific Commitments Committee and served on the Asia Pacific Client and Business Standards Committee.
He is also in the Goldman Sachs team currently advising Chinese industrial company Zoomlion on its $3.3 billion bid for the US’s Terex.
Goldman Sachs is not expected to look to fill the role that Campbell-Breeden leaves vacant in Asia. As one Goldman Sachs insider said: “It was more a role for the man than a role at the firm.”
Previously, Campbell-Breeden was chairman of the industrials group in the region from 2013 to 2014 as well as head of M&A in Asia Pacific ex-Japan from 2011 to 2014. One of the deals he is best known for advising on was Lenovo's $2.3 billion acquisition of IBM’s server unit in 2014, which was chosen as FinanceAsia's Best China Deal of that year.
Prior to that, he was head of M&A in Asia ex-Japan from 2008 to 2011, co-head of the European financial sponsors group from 2005 to 2008, and co-head of UK investment banking from 1999 to 2005.
John Kim is Goldman Sachs's current head of M&A in the region. Campbell-Breeden joined Goldman Sachs in 1989 in the M&A department in New York. He was named managing director in 1998 and partner in 2000.
Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Campbell-Breeden worked for 3i and Rolls-Royce Aero Engines.