United States financial services provider Cantor Fitzgerald has entered into a strategic alliance with HankPacific Group to provide capital-raising and advisory services focused on China. Founded by Henry Liu, a former director-general of the China Securities Regulatory Commission and head of investment banking for China at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, HankPacific is an independent international merchant banking and advisory business focused on China and Asia. The two firms will set up an investment bank that will focus on Chinese and other Asian clients wanting to raise capital and find expansion opportunities abroad and on Western clients wishing to tap into China and Asia-Pacific. 'With the [Chinese] government's state share disposal programme, there are going to be a lot of opportunities, both from a strategic and a financial investment perspective, to match Chinese corporates either with other corporates from outside China or with institutional investors,' Cantor global head of investment banking Marc Blazer said. 'We recognise there is a perception among mid-market Chinese companies that the larger [investment] banks are not serving them well. There are very few players with a truly global distribution capability like ours that focus on those issuers.' He said Cantor, primarily known for its sales and trading of equities and fixed-income securities, had about 5,000 client relationships, compared with about 500 for an investment bank. The reason is that Cantor specialises in the trading of listed securities away from an exchange, meaning it is the house of choice when institutional investors need to sell illiquid stocks. Through its alliance with HankPacific, Cantor would be able to offer clients a wealth of government, corporate and private contacts in China, Mr Blazer said. Initially, the joint operation will have seven people based in Beijing and a handful in New York.