Goldman Sachs has appointed Tim Freshwater - chairman of the former Jardine Fleming (JF) investment bank - managing director and chairman of its investment banking division in Asia. The move comes in the wake of Chase Manhattan's recent US$7.7 billion purchase of London-based Robert Fleming Holdings, which owned Asian-based JF. A Goldman Sachs spokesman said last night Mr Freshwater's appointment would help the group expand its investment banking business across the region. 'He is one of the most experienced investment bankers in the region and we are looking to expand our franchise and therefore build that business with top-calibre people,' the spokesman said. Apart from the Robert Fleming purchase, Chase also announced last month it would buy JP Morgan in a US$35.6 billion deal. Antony Leung, Chase's chairman in the Asia-Pacific region, is to become the company's Asian chief after the two acquisitions. Goldman Sachs said Mr Freshwater would take up his position on January 1. 'We are delighted to have a banker of Tim Freshwater's superb capabilities and Asian experience join our team. We look forward to welcoming him to the firm,' Richard Gnodde, president of Goldman Sachs (Asia) said. Michael Carr, head of investment banking for Goldman Sachs in Asia, said: 'Tim's appointment clearly underscores our commitment to building the pre-eminent investment banking franchise right across the region.' Mr Freshwater's is the second high-profile appointment made in the highly competitive local investment banking sector in recent months. In August, it was announced that former Jardine Matheson managing director Alasdair Morrison would join Morgan Stanley Dean Witter as its Asian chairman. Mr Freshwater's departure is not unexpected after the Chase purchase. Other former top-level JF executives are also tipped to leave in coming months. Mr Freshwater joined JF from London law firm Slaughter & May in 1996. He was appointed deputy chairman as part of a management shake-up after a scandal at the investment bank's fund management arm involving rogue trader Colin Armstrong. In March last year, he was appointed JF chairman. He is a board member of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, Pacific Century Insurance Holdings and Liu Chong Hing Bank.