[SINGAPORE] Goldman Sachs Group Inc is reducing the size of its investment-banking team in Singapore by about 30 per cent compared with the start of the year, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Ruben Bhagobati, Goldman Sachs's head of Southeast Asia mergers and acquisitions, and Singapore-based managing director Antoine Izard are among those departing the firm, according to the people. About 15 people are leaving or have left the investment-banking team in Singapore since the beginning of January, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information.
The reductions go beyond the normal annual culling of underperformers, one of the people said. Goldman Sachs joins Standard Chartered Plc, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd and Nomura Holdings Inc in cutting staff in Asia as tougher regulations and higher capital requirements put pressure on financial firms globally.
Hsin Yue Yong, Goldman Sachs's head of investment banking for Southeast Asia, decided to leave the firm by the end of February, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg News last month. Tim Leissner, who relocated to Singapore last year to be Southeast Asia chairman, will work closely with Singapore-based partners Michael Smith and Dan Swift after her departure, the Feb 9 memo shows.
Edward Naylor, a Hong Kong-based spokesman for Goldman Sachs, declined to comment. Mr Bhagobati declined to comment in a mobile-phone text message, while Mr Izard didn't immediately respond to a phone call and e-mail seeking comment.
The New York-based firm was the fifth-busiest mergers and acquisitions adviser in Southeast Asia last year with an 11.8 per cent market share, up from eighth place in 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It ranked 10th among arrangers of equity and equity-linked offerings in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, up from 12th place a year earlier, the data show.