By Scott Murdoch and Samuel Shen HONG KONG (Reuters) – Global financial firms such as Goldman Sachs (NYSE :), BlackRock (NYSE 🙂 and Fidelity International are set to add hundreds of employees in China this year as they look to take advantage of the openings of their $ 40 trillion financial sector. Beijing, in the past year and a half, accelerated the pace of liberalization primarily as part of a trade deal with the United States, allowing foreigners to fully own their local businesses in areas including investment banking and asset management. Having obtained regulatory approval to increase holdings and deal with disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Western companies are now preparing plans to increase their presence on the ground, representatives and headhunters said. Foreign financial firms have long coveted a greater presence in China, and their expansion comes against the backdrop of a revival of its economy, increased business activities in the country, and a rapid pace of wealth creation. Goldman is leading the charge for Wall Street banks operating in China, the first to move toward full ownership of its securities business after it was fully opened to foreigners last April. Its goal is to hire 70 employees in China by 2021, said a Goldman spokesman, as it seeks to double the number of employees to 600 by 2024. The bank now has around 400 employees and the new round of hiring will target bankers from investment, brokers, analysts and technology staff. . Fidelity tripled its Shanghai office space in September to accommodate a rapidly growing workforce as it prepares to launch its wholly-owned mutual fund unit after China removed foreign ownership limits on the sector last year. The fund manager plans to hire about 100 people in China this year, not including its Dalian operations and technology center, the company told Reuters. “We hope to hire high-level talent with a global perspective and local knowledge, which is in short supply in today’s market,” he said. BlackRock, which is creating a 51% controlled wealth management company with Temasek Holdings and China Construction Bank (OTC 🙂 Corp (SS 🙂 in China, is hiring at least a dozen senior positions for the business, according to the global recruitment site. Glass door. Vacancies include vice president of commerce, vice president of marketing strategy, head of risk and quantitative analysis and manager of fund operations, according to job postings recently posted over the past month. BlackRock declined to comment. TALENT WAR In addition to opening up its financial sectors to foreigners, Beijing has also launched a series of reforms in recent years in capital markets, asset management, and insurance businesses, boosting earnings prospects for Western companies. That has also resulted in increased activities in the Chinese financial market: Shanghai’s Nasdaq-style STAR market ranked fourth last year in the league table of global exchanges with $ 20.3 billion in deals in 2020, according to Refinitiv. The hiring plans have raised the possibility of a talent war, with most seeking to raid other foreign companies in China. Some of them are also looking to leverage their existing staff elsewhere to develop their workforce in China. Goldman, for example, plans to hire domestically and, at the same time, tap into overseas talent networks to find 70 new hires, the spokesperson said. UBS China Country Head David Chin said the scramble for hiring by Western financial firms had not only triggered a talent war, but also meant that banks had to work hard to prevent rivals. were stolen. UBS said in January that it planned to double its investment banking workforce in three to five years. “Of course, we regularly transfer employees from Hong Kong to China, but it should be done in a measured way. Many Hong Kong employees are not the best suited for mainland China, so the number of potential candidates is limited,” Chin said.