How Peking University became a top finance school
Chinese international students might be a staple on any Western university campus, but we could soon be in a world where the opposite is more popular.
China has millennia of history in higher education, and as its long economic growth trajectory continues, so does the funding, connections, and prestige of its universities.
One of those is Peking University, founded in 1898. Its alumni have popped up around the most hallowed institutions, financial or otherwise, in the world. Here are some of the most interesting ones we’ve come across.
It’s hard to get higher on top of finance than being CEO of Citadel Securities (other than maybe being Ken Griffin). Peng Zhao, who was named CEO in 2017, has spent 17 years at the market-maker in total, joining in 2006. He graduated from Peking University in 2001 and did a PhD at Berkeley after.
RBC’s former global investment banking head for Asia, Wang is now a graduate advisor for Peking University MBA and Master of Finance graduates. He left RBC in 2017 after five years with the Canadian bank, which he joined from Bank of China International.
A former Citadel bigshot and its head of portfolio management, equities quant research, and global trading for just 6 months. Chen joined Citadel from Point72, which he joined from Millennium. He was a portfolio manager and quant researcher at both. He set up Dualitas Capital Management, a hedge fund, last year.
Jean Liu Qing
The current president of ridesharing app DiDi, which acquired Uber’s Chinese presence in 2016, Liu was an MD at Goldman Sachs, and was at the bank for 12 years (and managed its relationship with DiDi) before leaving the firm. She made MD in 2012 – aged just 34. Her father, Liu Chaunzhi, founded Lenovo.
Chairman of SEEKERS Capital Group, Zhu Hansong is a former Goldman partner and the bank’s co-head of Chinese investment banking division. He retired in 2019 from the firm, after 19 years at the bank, and was also its head of industrial and natural resources for Asia ex-Japan.
A former political dissident exiled from China due to involvement in the 1989 Tianamen Square protests, Shen Tong became a food and software entrepreneur. He is now an impact investor, and the founder of multiple business accelerators that accelerate food-related businesses.
The head of quantitative strategists for SMBC Capital Markets, Xu joined the Japanese company earlier this month after nearly seven years at Wells Fargo, where he was co-head of macro quantitative analytics. He joined Wells Fargo, in turn, from Goldman, where he spent 18 years (and became an MD).
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