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Goldman relocates equities high-flier to IPO hotspot

July 13, 2012

SINGAPORE/HONG KONG: Goldman Sachs has named Steven Barg as co-head of investment banking for Southeast Asia, moving the high-profile equity capital markets banker from Hong Kong to a region where deal activity is booming.
Barg, who was co-head of equity capital markets in Asia excluding Japan, will relocate to Singapore and join Hsin Yue Yong in the investment banking role, according to a memo seen by Reuters and confirmed by Goldman.

The move allows Goldman to position Barg in a role where he will continue to source equities deals but also oversee the firm’s attempts to grow its Southeast Asia business as a whole.

Goldman is among the banks that have benefited from the surge in capital market activity in Malaysia, which saw two of the world’s three biggest initial public offerings this year, but senior sources at the bank concede that Goldman could have done better, a situation Berg’s deployment is intended to remedy.

Goldman was a bookrunner on IHH Healthcare Bhd’s US$2 billion dual IPO in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and is a lead adviser on Malaysian pay TV operator Astro All Asia Networks’ planned IPO in September that could raise as much as US$1.5 billion.

Barg, 50, left UBS in May 2010 to join Goldman Sachs as co-head of equity capital markets in Asia alongside Jonathan Penkin. Goldman sweetened its offer to Barg by allowing him to join the firm as a partner, a status conferring added pay incentives and increased likelihood of a top job at the firm.

At UBS Barg presided over the firm’s rise to become the region’s top equities house by volume, as the Swiss bank’s extensive sales and research platform and its legions of private bankers passing on clients as potential IPO leads meant UBS topped ECM revenue tables for the region.

Barg himself was seen by UBS insiders as key to this success, alongside the China rainmaker Henry Cai who sourced many of the firm’s mainland deals and who also subsequently left the firm.

Brooks Entwistle remains chairman of Southeast Asia and will be able to focus more on this role with Barg taking on more deal origination responsibilities.



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