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Chinese banker's move to private equity seen unusual- report

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November 25
2:21 AM 2013

A report from the South China Morning Post or SCMP said the move of top Chinese banker Xiao Suining to a private equity firm was uncommon. The private equity industry is viewed as the new destination for Hong Kong bankers after the 2008 financial crisis compelled many executives to ponder about their careers with global banks at the forefront of the crisis. However, the report said that such a situation was not common in the mainland since most of the top executives would prefer for senior government posts or retire comfortably after years of service.

Sources familiar with the matter told the South China Morning Post that Xiao has jumped to the private equity world as the China Chairman of PAG (formerly Pacific Alliance Group) and as partner of the company's private equity arm. Xiao was the former Chairman of Shenzhen Development Bank or SDB, which was taken over by Ping An Insurance and renamed as Ping An Bank.

The report quoted an internal memo given to the staff at PAG about Xiao's role in the firm. Part of the memo read, "Suining will be involved not only in sourcing and executing investments on behalf of PAG Capital in China but will also bring important relationships and a senior presence for PAG in China across our strategies."

According to the SCMP report, Xiao and PAG Chairman and Chief Executive Shan Weijian knew each other. A former university professor interviewed by SCMP said, "They have known each other very well since their days at SDB, and it's great to see they can work together again, as both of them are considered real experts on China, with deep knowledge of how things can really be done in the country."

Shan was formerly a senior partner at TPG Capital, a US-based private equity company. He played a key role in the 2004 major equity investment that TPG made in SDB. Because of the deal, SBD became the first mainland bank to be controlled by a foreign investment firm, the report said.

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