Goldman poaches Morgan Stanley's Asia investment banking head

Hong Kong Thu Mar 7, 2013 8:27am IST

A trader works at the Goldman Sachs stall on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, April 16, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

A trader works at the Goldman Sachs stall on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, April 16, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

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Hong Kong (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs (GS.N) has hired Morgan Stanley's Asia investment banking head Kate Richdale, the most senior banker in the region to be poached so far this year at a time when annual bonuses are being paid amid fierce competition for business in a low-fee environment.

Richdale will be head of investment banking services for Asia ex-Japan, a role that involves managing the firm's client relationships in the region, according to an internal memo obtained by Reuters on Thursday.

A 13-year veteran of Morgan Stanley, Richdale will join Goldman Sachs as a Partner, a coveted title at the bank because of its prestige and high level of compensation. She was named as Morgan Stanley's sole head of investment banking for Asia-Pacific two years ago to the day, in a shake-up that saw her co-head, Gokul Laroia, become head of the equities division.

Goldman will benefit particularly from Richdale's experience in South East Asia, a region where the US investment bank has sometimes lagged rivals in the past and where it has redeployed resources recently. It moved Steve Barg from Hong Kong to Singapore in July to become co-head of investment banking for the sub-region.

From 2003 to 2006 Richdale was head of investment banking for South East Asia at Morgan Stanley, becoming CEO for the region in 2007.

Richdale is the second Morgan Stanley Asia veteran to defect to another bank in the last year, after Will McLane, the head of the financial institutions group for Asia Pacific, went to Citi (C.N) in July.

(Reporting By Lawrence White; Editing by Michael Flaherty and Stephen Coates)

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