Richdale’s Run to KKR – a Tale of Two Trends

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Euromoney, March 14 2019

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The steady drift of Asia investment bankers into private equity continued in March with Kate Richdale’s departure from Goldman Sachs for KKR.

Richdale, one of a rare group to have been head of Asia investment banking at both Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, will become KKR’s head of strategy and business development in Asia Pacific. KKR says she will “also work with KKR’s Asia investing business to assist in advancing the deal origination pipeline.”

Departures like these have become a recurring theme in Asia. Last year Mervyn Chow, the former Greater China CEO and co-head of Asia Pacific investment banking at Credit Suisse, joined Hillhouse Capital. And Robby Winarta, Credit Suisse’s Indonesia investment banking head, joined Carlyle in May.

One can see the appeal. In this edition another Goldman alumnus, Fred Hu, speaks about the business he has built in the Chinese private markets with Primavera Capital.

In another enduring theme, Richdale’s departure thins the ranks of women in truly senior investment banking roles in Asia. For the best part of 20 years she was a rare female presence when Euromoney made its rounds for the awards for excellence pitches.

The retirement of UBS’s Kathryn Shih, who had a wealth management background but rose to oversee all the bank’s operations in Asia including investment banking, exacerbates the imbalance.

Morgan Stanley’s Wei Christianson and JP Morgan’s Jing Ulrich are still at the top; and at DBS Tan Su Shan’s shift from running consumer and wealth to institutional is significant.

But few are joining them. Euromoney attended a bank media lunch in Singapore which happened to fall on International Women’s Day. Fifteen senior bankers stood up and introduced themselves; one was a woman.

Chris Wright
Chris Wright
Chris is a journalist specialising in business and financial journalism across Asia, Australia and the Middle East. He is Asia editor for Euromoney magazine and has written for publications including the Financial Times, Institutional Investor, Forbes, Asiamoney, the Australian Financial Review, Discovery Channel Magazine, Qantas: The Australian Way and BRW. He is the author of No More Worlds to Conquer, published by HarperCollins.

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