Goldman Sachs Loses Top Southeast Asia Banker to Citi

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Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s head of investment banking in Southeast Asia, Harry Naysmith, has resigned and will take on a top role at Citigroup Inc. in the region, becoming the second executive to do so in recent years.

Naysmith gave his notice at Goldman Sachs last week to join Citigroup as vice chairman of banking, capital markets and advisory for Southeast Asia, said people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing a private matter. Representatives at both banks declined to comment on the hire.

Naysmith’s time in Southeast Asia at Goldman overlapped with a tumultuous time for the bank, which had to pay a record foreign bribery penalty in the U.S. last year over its involvement in the 1MDB investment fund scandal in Malaysia. Udhay Furtado, a 12-year Goldman veteran and former co-head of investment banking for Southeast Asia, also left in September 2018 to join Citi as co-head of equity capital markets at the bank.

The departure of the Singapore-based executive comes as Goldman is trying to bolster its coverage in the city state and in Southeast Asia as a whole. The New York-based bank has been pulling resources from Hong Kong, its investment banking hub for Asia, to build out its presence in Southeast Asia, where its revenue lags behind other key markets.

Singapore is becoming the focus of Goldman’s regional strategy after its image was stained in the region from the 1MDB scandal. The bank is adding to its headcount in Singapore hub, seeking to boost its wealth management and investment banking operations. 

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Naysmith, who had been with Goldman since 2013, oversaw the advisory business along with Hong Kong-based Sushil Bathija. Goldman will appoint a replacement for Naysmith soon, a person said.  

The bank also lost another Singapore-based managing director, Michelle Ling, who joined Mapletree Investments Pte. in 2019. 

Citigroup is expanding in Asia and has this year added more than 20 investment bankers, mostly vice presidents, according to a spokesman. The bank earlier hired Varun Matta from CIMB as head of technology, media and telecommunications investment banking for the Asean region, creating a new role to lead a push in dealmaking.

Naysmith couldn’t immediately be reached for a comment. Prior to joining Goldman, he spent five years at ABN Amro Bank NV. 

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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