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10 new power players now shaping the future of Asia’s top bank

Goldman Sachs has just made 10 partner promotions in Asia Pacific. If you work for Goldman (or want to), these are the people who will shape the future of your bank, which currently ranks first by IB revenue in APAC.

The partners’ names and divisions are already on Goldman’s website. However, to give you a better understanding of what Goldman's new Asian leaders actually do, we asked the bank to provide us with their job titles. These haven’t been published as a complete list elsewhere and you can now view them in the table at the bottom of this article (for detailed bios of the five Hong Kong-based partners within the APAC cohort, click here).

Meanwhile, what do the 10 new appointments tell us about jobs at Goldman in Asia? We’ve drawn out some key takeaways.

Securities is holding its own

New Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon has risen through the ranks of Goldman’s investment bank, and is said to want to promote the fortunes of that division. In Asia Pacific (ex-Japan), Goldman ranks top for IB revenue by bank for the year to end-September, according to Dealogic. And last month GS appointed Todd Leland to run APAC investment banking as part of broader leadership changes aimed at cementing its dominant position regionally. This October shake-up seems to be more crucial to the firm’s IB ambitions in Asia than its partnership promotions, which saw investment banking (three new partners) outflanked by securities (four).

Women are rising to the top

Globally, Goldman has been keen to tout the fact that 26% of its new partners are female. In Asia Pacific, however, it’s done better on the gender diversity front – 40% of its new partners are women, a new regional record. In the previous promotion round, in 2016, the Goldman APAC partner class of 12 included only two women.

Expats are still sought after in Hong Kong

Only two of the new APAC partners are Chinese, despite the importance of China to Goldman’s APAC business. For example, of the $467m in IB revenue that Goldman made in the first nine months in APAC ex-Japan, $278m came fro China, according to Dealogic.

The dearth of Chinese partners is not as surprising as it may seem. Global investment banks primarily want to recruit and retain Chinese bankers as client-facing rainmakers, not necessarily as senior managers. Goldman, like all its rivals, still has plenty of expatriates in its upper echelons in Hong Kong. “Clients in Asia often view a senior expat appointment as a sign of a foreign bank’s commitment to them and to the region”, Benjamin Quinlan, a former UBS and Deutsche banker, now a consultant in Hong Kong, told us last month. Goldman’s new Hong Kong expats (who we profiled on Friday) aren’t newbies to Asia, however.  Philippa Vizzone has been in the region for 18 years, while Jamie Goodman relocated in 2017.

Singapore is trounced by Sydney

Singapore is the world’s fourth most important financial centre, while Sydney sits in seventh position. In terms of new Goldman partners, however, the Australian city clocked up a surprisingly high three promotions, while Singapore drew a blank. The Republic primarily serves as an operations and tech hub for Goldman, which ranked outside of the top-10 banks for Southeast Asia IB revenue for the first nine months, according to Dealogic. By contrast, Goldman came fifth for IB revenue in Australia over the same period.

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Image credit:  Nikada


AUTHORSimon Mortlock Content Manager

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