Goldman Sachs

Goldman's 'face of China' tipped for retirement

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 June, 2012, 12:00am


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Cai Jinyong, a long-time influential Chinese investment banker, is expected to retire in the next couple of months from Goldman Sachs to pursue personal interests, according to two industry sources.

Cai, 53, has been chief executive of Goldman Sachs Gaohua Securities, a Beijing-based investment banking joint venture, since early 2008.

He was considered the face of Goldman Sachs in China, especially in relations with the government.

'He has discussed a retirement plan with the senior management of Goldman Sachs for a period of time and I understand a decision has been made and he is likely to retire in the next month or two,' said a person who asked not to be named.

According to a report yesterday by the mainland financial news portal, Cai has recently been shortlisted as a potential candidate for the chief executive's job at International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private investment arm of the World Bank.

Cai worked for the World Bank in the 1990s before launching his investment banking career at Morgan Stanley, and then moving to Goldman Sachs.

Hannfried von Hindenburg, IFC's head of communications for East Asia and the Pacific, said IFC chief executive Lars Thunell was stepping down at the end of the month, but the time frame for choosing a new CEO was uncertain.

Goldman Sachs declined to comment.

Cai's appointment would put another Chinese in a senior role at a global financial institution.

Taiwan-born Justin Lin Yifu just completed his four-year term as chief economist and senior vice-president at the World Bank.

Lin swam across the Taiwan Strait to the mainland in May 1979, and was appointed to the World Bank job with help from Beijing. Lin later became a professor at the prestigious Peking University.

Shanghai-born, former People's Bank of China deputy governor Zhu Min is also working as deputy managing director at the International Monetary Fund.

The people with knowledge of Cai's retirement plan declined to confirm whether Cai was interested in joining the IFC, but they added that Cai would not join another international investment bank after retiring from Goldman Sachs.

'Cai wants to do something different, something more meaningful. He's done enough about IPOs and M&As,' one of the sources said, referring to initial public offerings of shares and mergers and acquisitions, two typical types of deals in the investment banking business.

Additional reporting by Lulu Chen