"Former Goldman Sachs banker" is fast becoming a common line on résumés in the Chinese tech sector's senior ranks.
The financial affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is close to announcing the hiring of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker Douglas Feagin to help its global push, according to people familiar with the situation.
Ant Financial Services Group, China's most valuable financial-technology company, runs the country's largest online payments platform by transaction volume, Alipay. Its global push includes investments in India and a deal with Uber Technologies Inc. to allow riders to pay fares with Alipay world-wide.
Ant Financial is flush with cash after a clutch of mostly Chinese state-backed firms invested $4.5 billion in its latest fundraising round—valuing the privately held company at roughly $60 billion—and has stepped up its hiring of deal makers ahead of its planned initial public offering.
Mr. Feagin joins a group of Goldman Sachs alumni in senior positions at Chinese Internet giants that includes presidents of two of the biggest— Michael Evans at Alibaba and Martin Lau at Tencent Holdings Ltd. Hiring polished Western bankers can help these Chinese upstarts build credibility with partners in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Investment banking isn't as attractive as it once was, even for Goldman Sachs bankers, long among Wall Street's best-paid. Goldman's first-quarter revenue—$6.34 billion, down 40%—was the lowest in any first quarter since 2004.
Mr. Feagin could help Ant Financial build ties with the U.S. banking establishment and guide its investments in financial startups. He previously ran investment banking for financial-institution clients for the Americas at Goldman, after working in the same role in Asia until 2010. In Asia, he worked on two of Goldman's most-lucrative Chinese-bank deals—its investment in Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the country's largest bank by market capitalization, and the IPO of Bank of China Ltd.
Mr. Feagin has retired from Goldman Sachs, according to an internal memo sent to Goldman employees last month. The memo didn't say where he was going. His hiring by Ant Financial as a senior vice president could be announced as early as this week, according to a person familiar with the situation.
In hiring Mr. Feagin, Ant Financial appears to be following the playbook of Alibaba, which in August hired Mr. Evans, Goldman's former chairman, as its president with a mandate to push its international expansion. Mr. Evans and Mr. Feagin worked together in Goldman's Hong Kong office.
Tencent's Mr. Lau, a former executive director at Goldman, joined China's largest gaming and social-networking company in 2005 as head of strategy and investments. The current chief strategy officer, James Mitchell, was formerly Goldman's New York-based head of communications, media and entertainment research.
Before joining the homegrown Uber competitor now called Didi Kuaidi Joint Co. in 2014, Jean Liu was with Goldman Sachs for more than a decade, much of it on a Hong Kong-based team investing in Chinese deals on Goldman's behalf. As president of the ride-sharing company—valued at more than $25 billion, Ms. Liu oversees parts of the business that include dealing with global partners and U.S. investors. She is also the daughter of Liu Chuanzhi, founder of personal-computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd.
Since being split off from Alibaba, Ant Financial has expanded from an online-payment platform into online wealth management and banking. More acquisitions across developing markets are in the cards.