FILE PHOTO: The logo of CITIC Securities is seen at its branch in Beijing, China, March 22, 2016.REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s Citic Securities Co. (600030.SS), (6030.HK) has hired Charles Lin, the former Asia head of Vanguard Group, to be vice chairman of Hong Kong unit CLSA, as the biggest Chinese securities company seeks to build up an international presence.

Chinese companies are ramping up efforts to compete with global counterparts, such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, at home and abroad.

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.

Lin, 37, will take on his leading role at CLSA, the Hong Kong-based broker Citic Securities acquired in 2013 for global expansion, a company statement said on Monday.

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

Lin, who joined Vanguard in 2011, has been its head of greater China since 2014 and was promoted to head of Asia in 2018, when the U.S. company was laying the groundwork for expansion in China.

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

Reporting by Zhang Yan, and Ryan Woo in Beijing; editing by Barbara Lewis

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