Goldman Sachs Group Inc brought back Mark Schwartz to run its Asian business from Beijing, after an 11-year hiatus during which he ran George Soros’ hedge-fund group and started an investment firm with Raj Rajaratnam.
Schwartz, 57, will also be vice chairman of the firm, New York-based Goldman Sachs said in a statement yesterday. He fills a role left by Michael Evans, who served as chairman of the region since 2004 and is now based in New York as vice chairman and global head of growth markets.
The new Asia boss will be Goldman Sachs’ first regional chairman to be based in Beijing, signaling the growing importance of the world’s second-largest economy as the Wall Street bank targets emerging markets to bolster revenue. Rival JPMorgan Chase & Co in April said Jeff Urwin, its global head of investment banking, would move to Hong Kong and take on the additional role of Asia CEO.
Schwartz, who had joined Goldman Sachs’ investment banking unit in 1979, will again be on the management committee, which he served on from 1999 until his departure from the firm in 2001.
He was head of capital markets from 1991 to 1997, when he moved to Tokyo to oversee Japan operations. He was chairman of Asia from 1999 until 2001.
“He played a critical role in helping to build our businesses across Asia Pacific,” Goldman Sachs chief executive officer Lloyd Blankfein said in the statement.
“Those experiences and relationships will be even more important as we focus on continuing to help our clients and grow our franchise across the region,” Blankfein added.
In China, Goldman Sachs in 2004 became the first Wall Street bank to form a local securities venture with management control.
The nation last month agreed to let foreign banks raise their stakes in domestic securities firms to as much as 49 percent, from 33 percent.
As well as stock and bond underwriting, the US firm is expanding its private-equity, asset management and institutional brokerage businesses in China.
Through its local partner, Goldman Sachs won approval in late 2010 to offer investment products, including to institutional investors and affluent clients.
It estimates that of all accounts opened by wealthy people at the firm globally last year, more than a quarter were in China.