CENTRAL, Hong Kong
- July 9, 2018
-- At least seven senior bankers and analysts from top-tier securities firms have quit to join biotechnology companies in the city since December, responding to the industry's growing demand for financial expertise after rule changes at Hong Kong's stock exchange smoothed the path for biotech initial public offerings.
Richard Yeh, a health-care analyst at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., emerged (https://www.bloomberg.com/
as the latest example after people familiar with matter said last week he was to join CStone Pharmaceuticals Co. as chief financial officer. Firms including Lazard Ltd., Bank of America Corp., Deutsche Bank AG, Citigroup Inc. and Jefferies Group LLC have all seen similar departures in recent months.
Like their predecessors in the 1990s internet boom and the more recent cryptocurrency gold rush, Hong Kong's financiers are joining the hot startups of the moment in hopes of hitting the stock-option jackpot. At least 16 biotech firms are pursuing IPOs in the former British colony, seeking to raise upwards of $3 billion, according to company filings and people familiar with the matter.
"During the dot-com era, everybody wanted to go into one of the internet startup companies because it was the new thing, it was exciting, with the possibility to make a lot of money if the company made it to an IPO,'' said Stephen Peepels, a capital markets lawyer at Hogan Lovells in Hong Kong. "I think it is analogous to the health-care industry in Hong Kong right now.