Goldman loses Asia special situations co-head

Kevin Zhang will end his 15 year-career with the bank, reportedly to join an unnamed China-focused private equity fund.

Kevin Zhang, co-head of the Asia special situations group at Goldman Sachs, will leave the bank in February, a spokesperson has confirmed.

Zhang will end his 15-year tenure at Goldman to join an unnamed Hong Kong-based private equity fund focused on investment in China, according to a Bloomberg report.

His departure will leave current co-head Jason Brown, also a partner at Goldman Sachs, in sole charge.

Zhang is the latest in a line of Asia-based senior level managers to leave the bank for the Chinese private equity industry.

In February 2008, co-head of investment banking in China Richard Ong jumped ship to join former Goldman executive Fang Fenglei at China-focused Hopu Investment Management.

Fenglei had previously run Goldman's China joint venture, Goldman Gao Hua Securities. While retaining his position as chairman, he stepped back from the day-to-day running of the firm to found Hopu in 2007.

Hopu's $2 billion first fund was reportedly founded with a $1 billion commitment from Singapore's Temasek Holdings and a $300 million injection from Goldman Sachs.

Frank Tang, FountainVest Partners' co-founder and chief executive, was also previously a Goldman banker. He left the bank in 2005 to join Temasek as senior managing director of China investments, and went on to set up FountainVest in September 2007.

FountainVest raised almost $1 billion for its first China-focused fund, the FountainVest China Growth Capital Fund, which closed in November 2008. The fund received a $50 million commitment from Temasek, and $200 million commitments each from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, according to a source close to the fundraising.