Another banker leaves for Asian PE

Senior Credit Suisse banker Paul Su has become the latest individual to leave investment banking for private equity, as buyout groups look to increase resources in China.

UK-listed alternative asset manager 3i Group has hired Paul Su as a senior partner within its Asian arm. Su joins from Credit Suisse, where he worked for 10 years at the bank’s Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing offices. Most recently, he served as a managing director and vice-chairman of Greater China for the bank’s investment banking division.

Su’s move follows a string of departures at investment banks as private equity firms attempt to build their teams in China and the wider Asian region.

Earlier this week, Hong Kong-based buyout firm Affinity Equity Partners hired Tay Tong Poh, head of investment banking at Singapore’s United Overseas Bank, as its head of portfolio management. In May, buyout group TPG Capital appointed Steve Sun, managing director at Goldman Sachs' principal investments division where he was responsible for the Greater China region.

Su will report to Bob Stefanowski, chairman of 3i Asia and the Americas. He will be responsible for originating and executing investments, 3i said in a statement.  He will begin work at 3i on 1 September.

Stefanowski  commented: “China will continue to be an important economy and offers exciting investment opportunities, particularly as its financial system gradually opens up to the world.  We continue to build on our strong track record in China.”

3i first made inroads into China in 2001, and has since opened offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. The group has hitherto invested in Chinese companies using its global growth capital vehicle, but won approval earlier this month to participate in a pilot programme by the Shanghai government allowing firms to convert dollars to renminbi without the need for any exchange control approvals. The approval allows 3i to convert up to $100m into RMB with which to make investments in China, 3i said in a statement.