In what looks like a bizarre swapping of China staff between two US firms, Morgan Stanley has hired Kai Yang from Citigroup. This follows its own recent loss of managing director and co-head of China investment banking, Jing Zhao to Citigroup, who became a managing director in CitigroupÆs China investment banking team.

Morgan's hire of Kai Yang may go some way to filling the gap left by Zhao. The 40-year old Beijing-and-Oxford educated Yang will report to CG Wu, Morgan Stanley's head of China investment banking and MD Yang - and leaves Citigroup after just seven months.

If anybody were counting one could say Morgan Stanley is slightly ahead, since this is its second hire at Citi's expense, following the high-profile departure of Wei Christianson in January - to head up Morgan Stanley's China business.

Meanwhile Mark Renton has taken over from Christianson as head of the Citigroup China investment banking team, while concurrently holding the position of head of Asia-Pacific investment banking.

Yang will be located in Beijing and work alongside Christianson, who will also be based in Beijing once she starts in May after her gardening leave.

YangÆs role will be broad. He will work primarily as a country coverage banker with some input on the execution side as well as liaising with regulators. He is also expected to have a say in strategy. He has substantial experience in financial and energy deals. Before joining Citigroup in 2005, Yang was with UBS, and its predecessor SBC Warburg, which he joined in 1994.