Henry Cai gets top job at Deutsche Bank

The former UBS banker is appointed chairman of corporate finance for Asia and head of the corporate and investment bank in China, and will effectively replace Lee Zhang as Deutsche's top investment banker in China.

Deutsche Bank said yesterday that it has hired Henry Cai as chairman of corporate finance for Asia and head of the corporate and investment bank (CIB) in China, confirming a rumour that started swirling shortly after Cai resigned from UBS at the end of June.

Cai, who was chairman of Asia investment banking and head of China investment banking at UBS, let it be known through sources at the time that he was looking to take a break from the industry and colleagues initially said they didn't think he would join a rival, but perhaps take a job with a state-owned enterprise (SOE) or start a private equity fund.

However, just days later, market talk suggested that he would join his former UBS boss Robert Rankin at Deutsche Bank. Rankin left UBS, where he was head of investment banking for Asia-Pacific, in March 2009 and is now CEO for Asia-Pacific at Deutsche.

Cai, who will also become a member of Deutsche Bank's Asia-Pacific executive committee, will join on October 4 and will report directly to Rankin. He will be based in Hong Kong.

Deutsche Bank has been looking for a replacement for Lee Zhang, who was appointed vice-president of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in April. Zhang, who had been with the German bank for 10 years, was China chairman and head of global banking for Asia-Pacific ex-Japan at Deutsche, but more importantly he was a key deal maker who helped win and execute numerous mandates in China for the bank thanks to his extensive relationships in the mainland. And it is these shoes that Cai is now expected to fill.

A deal-maker in his own right, Cai has experience of bringing the first Chinese SOEs to market in Hong Kong in the 1990s and of working extensively with the private entrepreneurs of today's China. Since he joined UBS in March 2006, he has had a big role in the growth of the firm's China business.

"Without doubt Henry is one of Asia's most prominent and successful bankers," Anshu Jain, Deutsche's global head of CIB, said in a statement. "Given that Asia and China are priority growth markets for the bank it seems particularly fitting that Henry's appointment is one of the first of this seniority in our newly combined CIB business."

"Henry played an important early role in the development of China's capital markets and has been involved in many landmark China and international transactions. He is uniquely placed to take both our Asia corporate finance and China investment banking platform to the next level," said Rankin. He added that Deutsche, which has been able to underwrite domestic equity and bond deals in China through its securities joint venture with Shanxi Securities since July 2009, is looking to leverage its leadership position in its markets business in Asia into an increased overall market share.

Cai joined UBS from BNP Paribas initially as chairman of investment banking for China. He was promoted to chairman for Asia investment banking in March last year when Rankin left. He joined BNP, then known as Peregrine Investment Bank, in 1997 and rose through the ranks to become co-head of investment banking for Asia.

From 1984 to 1996, Cai worked with the Shanghai municipal government and with Shanghai Petrochemical. Between 1992 and 1996 he was also a member of the state council IPO team in Shanghai and was closely involved in the first wave of Chinese enterprises to be listed in the H-share market in Hong Kong and in the US, including Shanghai Petrochemical, Tsingtao Brewery, and Maanshan Iron and Steel.

In a clear sign of how excited Deutsche is to have Cai join, chairman Josef Ackermann himself made a comment in the release announcing the hire, saying the appointment demonstrates Deutsche's resolve to achieve top-tier status in all its investment banking businesses in Asia and in the important China market.

At UBS, David Chin, who is joint head of Asia investment banking, has taken over Cai's investment banking responsibilities in China.

Zhang's appointment at ICBC was the first senior management position at a major Chinese bank to be filled externally by an executive from a foreign bank and Deutsche Bank executives, including Ackermann, held direct discussions with representatives for the Chinese government about the hire.

Richard Yacenda has taken over Zhang's previous role as chairman for China on an interim basis. Yacenda is also deputy chief operating officer for Asia and based in Beijing. Meanwhile, Rankin has been handling Zhang's previous responsibilities within global banking. It seems likely that Cai will take over some of that work when he comes on board, even if his title won't be the same as Zhang's.

Deutsche Bank has been locally incorporated in China since 2008 and all its global business units have licences to operate in the mainland. Aside from its securities joint venture with Shanxi Securities, which operates under the name of Zhong De Securities, the bank also has local partnerships with Huaxia Bank and with Harvest Asset Management.

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