Natixis expands coverage of Chinese corporates with two appointments

Hong Kong, October 2, 2018

Kenneth Ho and Joe Zhao are appointed by Natixis to lead corporate coverage efforts in respectively South China, East & Central China, complementing the bank’s client coverage capabilities in China.

Natixis today announces two new appointments within its Coverage division with a focus on Mainland China, supplementing existing coverage reach of what is a key market for the bank with a view to better meeting the specific needs of its diverse range of Chinese corporate clients.

Recognising the importance of geographical proximity in developing a strategic dialogue with its Corporate clients, Natixis has made the following two appointments, each aimed at increasing business activity with clients based in two distinct geographical areas: South China & Hong Kong, East & Central China.

These appointments add to Natixis’ corporate coverage setup in China, where Simon Qin, Head of Corporate Coverage, North China, has been leading corporate coverage efforts for the past two years.

Kenneth Ho has joined Natixis as Head of Corporate Coverage, South China. Based in Hong Kong, he will report to Sukhdeep Sandhu, Head of Corporate Coverage, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea. In this new role, Kenneth will lead Natixis’ development with Chinese corporate clients based in South China and Hong Kong. Leveraging on his 20+ years of experience within the banking sector across various cities in China and in Hong Kong, Kenneth will focus on developing Natixis’ portfolio of Chinese clients in this fast-growing region. Prior to joining Natixis, he worked for various financial institutions including Standard Chartered Bank, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Sumitomo Mitsui Bank, Mizuho, The Bank of East Asia and United Overseas Bank.

Joe Zhao has been appointed Head of Corporate Coverage, Central and Eastern China. Based in Shanghai, Joe is responsible for covering and developing Natixis’ Chinese corporate client base, primarily in Central and Eastern China. Joe joined the Company in 2016. He previously worked at ANZ Shanghai Branch as Director, Head of Large Local Corporates, East & Central China, Corporate & Institutional Banking.

Joe Zhao and Kenneth Ho will report locally to Hong Liu, Senior Country Manager, Greater China. Functionally, Joe will continue to report to Damien Cleris, Head of Coverage, Asia Pacific, and co-Head of Investment Banking, Asia Pacific, while Kenneth will report to Sukhdeep Sandhu, Head of Corporate Coverage, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea.

These two appointments will help to advance Natixis’ ambitions to expand its footprint in the region and more specifically in China, where the bank already works with a wide array of clients, including financial institutions and corporates, delivering to them a comprehensive array of financial services spanning advisory, capital market, structured financing, and hedging and investment solutions.

An important component of Natixis’ strategy in China has been to support the international development of Chinese corporates. Natixis has facilitated significant transactions in the last two years, demonstrating its advisory capabilities and market expertise. The bank played a crucial role in helping China National Chemical Corp (ChemChina) arrange and secure a bridge loan of $12.7bn as one of the mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners in 2017, and in March 2018, announced the closing of a key cross-border M&A transaction. The transaction refers to the acquisition by a Chinese consortium formed by Fosun International Limited (“Fosun”) and Beijing Sanyuan Foods Co., Ltd. (“Sanyuan”) of French food and beverage producer St Hubert, which the bank had facilitated in its capacity as exclusive strategic financial advisor.

Through these new appointments, the bank intends to accelerate this strategy to cement its positioning as the go-to bank for companies looking to expand into Europe, drawing on its strong international network, intimate knowledge of the European market, and unique investment banking capabilities. Natixis acquired early in 2018 a majority stake in Vermilion Partners, which boasts one of the largest cross-border advisory teams on the ground in mainland China, with a successful track record of advising prominent multinational and Chinese private and state-owned companies.

Commenting on these appointments, Damien Cleris, Head of Coverage, Asia Pacific, and co-Head of Investment Banking, Asia Pacific, said: “This new setup will support the development of Natixis’ Greater China Coverage platform -- one of the key growth engines of the New Dimension plan, and an integral component of the Company’s differentiating strategy. The new appointments will contribute to the expansion of our client base, deepening of our strategic dialogue to service clients in China with international aspirations.”