China’s Top Brokerage Hires Vanguard’s Asia CEO

Charles Lin joins Citic Securities in Hong Kong

Citic Securities in China has hired Charles Lin, the former Asia head of Vanguard Group, to be Vice Chairman of its Hong Kong unit CLSA, according to market sources.

Lin will take on his leading role at CLSA, which Hong Kong-based broker Citic Securities acquired in 2013 in line with its global expansion plans, a company statement said.

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Chinese full-service investment bank Citic Securities offers services in underwriting, research, brokerage, asset management, wealth management, and investment advisory. It was set up in 1995 and is headquartered in Shenzen, Guangdong Province.

“Citic Securities has taken a more proactive approach to attracting talent for its international business,” Zhang Youjun, Chairman of Citic Securities, commented in the statement.

Lin had joined Vanguard in 2011 and became the firm’s Head of Greater China in 2014. He was promoted to Head of Asia in 2018, when the US company was laying the groundwork for expansion in China.

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He left Vanguard in January, shortly after the firm received regulatory approval to launch a robo-advisor service with Chinese fintech giant Ant Financial. The service was launched earlier this month.

Building global presence

Lin’s career began in China sales at Deutsche Asset Management in 2008.

He was Head of Greater China at Brazilian Itau Securities, before moving to Vanguard.

Citic Securities seeks to strengthen its international presence at a time, in which Chinese Financial services companies build up efforts to compete with global counterparts, such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

As part of that drive, China, the world’s second largest economy, has removed ownership restrictions on foreign investors on securities firms and mutual funds from April 1, allowing them access to its $45 trillion finance sector.


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