HSBC Holdings hires from Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan to revamp Asia equities

HSBC Holdings Plc made a slew of hires from rivals including Goldman Sachs Group Inc, as the bank revamps its equities business in the Asia-Pacific region and expands a nascent majority-owned securities venture in China, people familiar with the matter said.

Among the recent additions are Michael Parry, who joined from Goldman Sachs as a director focused on Asian equity sales, the people said, asking not to be identified. Other hires include Liu Kang, who was at Goldman Sachs’s Chinese partner Beijing Gao Hua Securities Co, and Jimmy He, who joined HSBC's equity sales team from China International Capital Corp last month, the people said. Both Liu and He will focus on the mainland, they added.

HSBC has been rebuilding its global equities operation since appointing Hong Kong-based Hossein Zaimi to run the business early last year. A key part of the push is the China joint venture, based in Guangdong’s financial free-trade zone of Qianhai, which was approved by Chinese authorities in June. HSBC owns a majority of that JV, giving it a potential edge over other global banks -- albeit one that could prove short-lived as China prepares to relax ownership rules.

Boosting HSBC's China business has been one of the top priorities of outgoing Chief Executive Officer Stuart Gulliver, who said last month that the bank's business in the Pearl River Delta region should generate an additional $1 billion of pretax profit over the coming five years. The China JV, HSBC Qianhai Securities, could have about 300 staff within three or four years, from about 100 now, the bank has said.

The Asian hiring drive explains why HSBC ended 2017 with a net increase in global equities staffing even with about 40 people departing during Zaimi's revamp, one of the people said. The global equities team has about 600 employees, the person said.

Adam Harper, a Hong Kong-based spokesman at the bank, declined to comment.

Other hires

Other recent Asian hires include Michele Kwok, formerly with JPMorgan Chase & Co, who joined HSBC's Hong Kong and China equity sales team, and Mark Ong, most recently with CLSA, who is expected to join the London-based bank later this year, one of the people said. HSBC was able to leapfrog other global banks in getting approval to hold a majority stake in its China securities venture because of a trade agreement between Hong Kong and the mainland that allows Hong Kong-funded institutions to set up such partnerships. That gave HSBC a head start over other banks, who are now rushing to take advantage of Beijing's November pledge to further open its financial markets for all foreign institutions.

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