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China: Fang Fenglei collaborates with Temasek in private equity fund

Singapore investment firm close to many on Goldman Sach’s team.

Fang Fenglei: a different league

Fang Fenglei: a different league

Goldman Sachs’s once invincible China team wobbled and spluttered in early December when it was announced that Fang Fenglei, the ambitious investment banking rainmaker who heads the US bank’s mainland joint venture, was setting up a $2 billion private equity fund in collaboration with Temasek. The Singaporean state-owned investment company will contribute exactly half the fund’s original paid-up capital, with global investors pouring in the other $1 billion, including Goldman Sachs itself.

This in itself shouldn’t be surprising. Fang isn’t leaving his US employers – at least not quite yet. He will remain for now the chairman of Goldman Sachs Gao Hua, the US investment bank’s three-year-old securities joint venture. In the words of one of China’s leading investment bankers, Goldman Sachs will "bend over backwards to keep him in the fold – if they leave him, it won’t be a disaster for them in China, but everyone will say to them: ‘Well, we told you so.’" Fang has notoriously itchy feet: having helped in 1995 to set up China International Capital Corp (CICC), the country’s leading domestic investment bank, he departed to help found several Chinese brokerages.