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Banking

Outsourcing comes to investment banks

CEO Khosla sees China as key; Banks outsource research, advisory to cut costs

Rishi Khosla, chief executive of Copal Partners

"Asia is now around a third of our business and that’s been driven mainly by China demand"

Rishi Khosla, Copal Partners

Investment banks are looking to outsource more skill-intensive functions such as equity research and deal advisory, with Asia driving the trend as banks seek to keep pace with demand while controlling costs. Rishi Khosla, chief executive of Copal Partners, says that when his firm began providing outsourced investment banking support services in 2002 Asia contributed a single-digit percentage of total business. That has now changed.

"Asia is now around a third of our business," he says, "and that’s been driven mainly by China demand. We have 60 people on the ground in Beijing now and I expect to double that soon. It’s driven mainly by the demand for on-the-ground research: when you have a large amount of capital chasing a few opportunities, as we’re seeing in China now, prices get bid up and the value of thorough independent research rises."

Survival

Khosla meets Euromoney in Hong Kong’s venerable Foreign Correspondents’ Club, speaking energetically despite being in the middle of a long global tour.

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