Goldman Sachs Names Hitchner as Asia Head, Replacing Ryan

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), the top underwriter of share sales in Asia excluding Japan this year, said Ken Hitchner will become president for the region after David Ryan retires later this year.

Hitchner, who currently runs health-care banking and is co-head of the technology, media and telecommunications group, will be based in Hong Kong, New York-based Goldman Sachs said in an e-mailed statement. Ryan, 43, will become a senior director, the bank said, without providing a reason for his retirement after two years in the role.

The Wall Street firm, which this year ceded its position as the top mergers adviser for Asia excluding Japan, hired Kate Richdale from Morgan Stanley (MS) in March to strengthen investment banking services. Hitchner will also work with Mark Schwartz, who rejoined the firm last year as chairman of the Asia-Pacific business, and Masa Mochida, who oversees Japan.

“Goldman Sachs has been pretty good at regularly rotating people through the top positions,” said Philippe Espinasse, a Hong Kong-based former equity capital markets banker at UBS AG and Nomura Holdings Inc. Hiring someone with mergers experience, “is probably a function of the maturity of the Asian market now.”

Navy Pilot

Revenue for Goldman Sachs in Asia climbed 16 percent to $5.39 billion last year, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Hitchner, a 53-year-old former U.S. Navy pilot, has been with Goldman Sachs since 1991. As a banker in the health-care industry for more than 15 years, he has advised clients including Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) on its $19.7 billion takeover of Synthes Inc. in 2012. He will oversee the day-to-day operations of Asia-Pacific businesses, excluding Japan, the bank said.

Goldman Sachs is the top-ranked adviser for equity and equity-linked offerings in Asia, excluding Japan, this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s up from No. 5 last year, the data show. The bank slipped to fourth in Asian M&A advisory this year, excluding Japan, after having held the top spot for the past two years, the data show.

Ryan, a former head of the Asian financing group, was named co-president of the bank’s Asian operations in 2011, along with Yusuf Alireza, who has since left the firm. During his tenure, the bank exited its seven-year investment in Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the world’s largest lender by market value. He has been with the firm since 1992.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Browning in Hong Kong at jbrowning9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chitra Somayaji at csomayaji@bloomberg.net; Philip Lagerkranser at lagerkranser@bloomberg.net

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