Goldman Sachs’s Southeast Asia Head Smith Said to Plan Departure

  • Partner who also heads Asia real estate spent 10 years at firm
  • Smith said to be in discussions with bank over departure date

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s head of Southeast Asia, Michael Smith, is planning to leave after 10 years at the firm, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Smith, a partner who also heads the real estate team in Asia, was in discussions with the company about his departure plan, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Smith couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Goldman Sachs plans to cut about a quarter of its investment-banking jobs in Asia outside Japan because of a slump in deal-making in the region, a person with knowledge of the matter said last week. About $78 billion of mergers and acquisitions have been announced this year in Southeast Asia, compared with $94 billion in the same period last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Edward Naylor, a Goldman Sachs spokesman in Hong Kong, declined to comment. Reuters previously reported Smith’s departure.

Goldman Sachs ranks third this year advising on deals in the region, up from 14th in 2015. It advised on transactions including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s $1 billion purchase of a controlling stake in Lazada Group SA as well as Medco Energi Internasional Tbk’s purchase of a stake in an Indonesian oil and gas block owned by ConocoPhillips.

Under Smith, Goldman Sachs has managed some of the biggest real estate deals in Singapore, including the initial public offerings of Mapletree Investments Pte’s industrial, commercial and Greater China units during the past six years.

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