RBS hires Li Cui to replace Simpfendorfer

The Royal Bank of Scotland has appointed Cui as chief China economist to fill the vacancy left by Ben Simpfendorfer who has moved on to pursue his own venture.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has appointed Li Cui as chief China economist to lead the bank's macroeconomic coverage of China. Cui is replacing Ben Simpfendorfer, who recently left the bank after five years of service.

Cui will be based in Hong Kong and will report to Sanjay Mathur, head of research and strategy for non-Japan Asia. The appointment is part of RBS’s continued investment to strengthen its research capacity, the bank said.

“China is a vital part of our research coverage and we have a long tradition of excellence across all asset classes. With more than 10 years of experience in covering China macro research, Li is a great addition to our team,” Mathur said in a statement.

Cui joins the British bank from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority where she served primarily as head of the external division, responsible for overseeing research on mainland China macroeconomic and financial sector issues, as well as cooperation initiatives with the mainland.

Prior to that, she spent eight years at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC, covering a range of economies over the years. Her last position with the IMF was as the senior economist focusing on China.

Cui holds a PhD in economics from Northwestern University. She is also an active contributor to various publications and has written many articles on China’s economic structure, export dependence and macroeconomic balance.

RBS said it will “retain the expertise” of Simpfendorfer, who has left the bank to set up his own consultancy company called Silk Road Associates -- a name that echoes his recent book "The New Silk Road". Simpfendorfer joined RBS in 2005 and before that worked as a senior China economist at J.P. Morgan in Hong Kong.

“Simpfendorfer will remain closely associated with RBS in a consultative capacity and will work with RBS clients when required,” the bank said.

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