Jerry Chang (IMSA China) on Goldman Sachs job cuts in Asia

Goldman and other Western investment banks such as Morgan Stanley, which used to be dominant players in advising on initial public offering deals in Hong Kong, have been locked in a bitter battle for business against their mainland peers in recent years. Financial volatility and global economic headwinds have weighed upon their earnings, prompting multinational lenders to tighten their belts with a slew of cost-cutting measures.

“It is not out of expectation, although I’m surprised to hear that they proposed to lay off such a big number of bankers,”said Jerry Chang, managing director of headhunter Baron & Co. Chang noted it has been a trend for Western investment banks to fire staff in Hong Kong, especially when they can no longer make as much money as they used to from their IPO deals.

“More mainland firms seeking public listing in Hong Kong are hiring mainland investment banks, therefore their share of the pie is becoming smaller,”Chang said.

This article appeared in the ‘South China Morning Post’ print edition as “Goldman sets stage for more job cuts in city”. Read more in PDF file.