SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s upstart investment banks in the southern boom town of Shenzhen outshone their larger rivals in Shanghai and Beijing last year, helped by an unprecedented fundraising frenzy on the Shenzhen exchange.
Following is a brief introduction of China’s top IPO deal makers in 2010 and their astute rainmakers behind the scenes. For a story on competition for Shenzhen IPOs, click
Ping An Securities, a unit of Shenzhen-based Ping An Insurance (601318.SS), topped China’s IPO league table in 2010 for the first time with 38 deals and deal proceeds of $5.14 billion.
Ping An Securities’ investment bank division is headed by Zeng Niansheng, a lawyer-turned-banker who is in his late thirties.
Described by the Chinese media as a pragmatic and low-profile person, Zeng moved his way up at Ping An after he joined the company in 2000 as a business manager at the investment bank department.
For all IPO mandates, Ping An’s investment bank department will follow a “five-step” process which keeps the time to market of a new IPO within six months to a year, according to Chinese media reports.
Controlled by Shenzhen Investment Holdings Corp, Guosen Securities clinched 31 A-share IPO deals in 2010 with a combined deal value of $4.82 billion.
Guosen Securities president Hu Jizhi, an economist by training, led a restructuring of Guosen’s investment bank operations when he took over the reins of the company in 2004.
Hu installed a performance-linked incentive scheme at Guosen and encouraged internal competition by breaking the investment bank operations into many small business units.
Two years ago, Hu launched an aggressive hiring program at Guosen at a time when financial institutions around the world suffered heavy losses due to the global financial crisis.
The former deputy general manager of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange also boosted Guosen’s equity research department at a time when other Chinese brokerages were shutting down their research operations.
Headquartered in Nanjing, in eastern China’s Jiangsu province, Huatai Securities (601688.SS) made headlines last year when it raised 15.5 billion yuan ($2.36 billion) via its listing on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
Jiangsu Guoxin Investment Group Ltd, the investment arm of the Jiangsu provincial government, owns 24 percent of Huatai Securities, company data showed.
Huatai Securities is headed by 41-year-old Zhou Yi, who had worked in the telecommunications sector until 2006 before he was appointed president of Huatai in 2007.
China’s most venerable investment bank suffered several high-profile exits of key staff as it ended last year a decade-long partnership with Wall Street bank Morgan Stanley (MS.N).
Morgan Stanley sold its 34.3 percent stake in Beijing-based CICC to four investors including U.S. private equity firms TPG Capital and Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts.
Media-shy CEO Levin Zhu, son of former Chinese premier Zhu Rongji, faces an uphill task now to re-energize the bank with the new shareholders.
CICC dropped to third place in managing Asian IPOs in 2010, as its market share shrunk to 4.7 percent from 16.1 percent.
Shenzhen-based Citic Securities (600030.SS), China’s first and biggest publicly traded brokerage firm, was one of four underwriters for the Shanghai portion of Agricultural Bank of China’s (601288.SS) $22.1 billion IPO last year.
Citic Securities Chairman Wang Dongming, a 58-year-old veteran banker, is credited with building the firm into a financial behemoth and the crown jewel of its state-owned parent Citic Group.
Last year, France’s Credit Agricole announced that it was in talk with Citic Securities for a partnership which could create a global equity broker with over 350 analysts worldwide.
A U.S.-trained economist, Wang worked at the investment bank division of Canada’s Scotiabank before he returned to China in 1992 -- two years after China reopened the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
Reporting by Soo Ai Peng; Editing by Kazunori Takada