Exclusive: Goldman and other financial firms hire people in China and monitor growth

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Goldman Sachs company logo resides in the corporate area on the floor of the NYSE in New York

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By Scott Murdoch and Samuel Shen

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Global financial firms like Goldman Sachs (NYSE :), BlackRock (NYSE 🙂 and Fidelity International are poised to hire hundreds of employees in China this year to capitalize on opening up their $ 40 trillion financial sector.

Beijing has accelerated the pace of liberalization over the past year and a half, mainly under a trade agreement with the United States, allowing foreigners to fully own their local businesses in areas such as investment banking and wealth management.

After Western companies received regulatory approval to increase stakes and dealt with the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, they are now preparing plans to increase their presence ashore, representatives and headhunters said.

Foreign financial firms have long wanted a greater presence in China, and their expansion comes amid an economic recovery, increased onshore deal activity, and rapid wealth creation.

Goldman is leading the indictment against Wall Street banks operating in China – the first to go into full takeover of the securities business after being fully opened to foreigners last April.

According to a Goldman spokesman, 70 employees will be hired in China by 2021, doubling the number to 600 by 2024. The bank currently employs around 400 people. The new hiring round is aimed at investment bankers, brokers, analysts and technology professionals.

Fidelity tripled its Shanghai office space in September to accommodate a rapidly growing workforce, and is preparing to launch its wholly owned mutual fund unit after China removed foreign ownership caps in the sector last year.

The fund manager plans to hire around 100 people in China this year, excluding the Dalian operations and technology center, the company told Reuters.

“We hope to be able to hire high-end talent with a global perspective and local insight into what is in short supply in the current market,” it said.

BlackRock, which is building a 51% controlled wealth management company in China with Temasek Holdings and China Construction Bank (OTC 🙂 Corp (SS :), is putting a glass door on at least a dozen senior positions for the company, according to global recruiting sites.

The vacancies, according to recently published job advertisements, include the vice president of commerce, the vice president of marketing strategy, the head of risk and quantitative analysis, and the fund operations manager.

BlackRock declined to comment.

Talent war

In addition to opening up the financial sector to foreigners, Beijing has also launched a series of reforms in capital markets, asset management, and insurance in recent years to improve the profitability of western companies.

This has also led to increased activity in the Chinese financial market – Shanghai’s STAR market in the Nasdaq style was ranked fourth in the global stock market rankings last year, with deals worth $ 20.3 billion in 2020, according to Refinitiv .

The hiring plans have increased the chances of a talent war as most try to raid other foreign companies in China. Some of them are also trying to use their existing staff in other locations to expand their Chinese workforce.

For example, Goldman plans to hire new employees domestically while leveraging the talent networks overseas to find the 70 new employees, the spokesman said.

David Chin, the head of UBS China, said the urge to hire people from Western financial firms not only sparked a talent war, but also resulted in banks having to work hard to keep their employees from being poached by rivals.

UBS announced in January that it would double its investment banking workforce in three to five years.

“Of course, we regularly move people from Hong Kong to China, but it needs to be done appropriately. Many people in Hong Kong are not the best fit for mainland China, so the number of potential candidates is limited,” said Chin.

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