When Douglas Feagin decided to leave Goldman Sachs Group Inc. after 22 years to run Ant Financial’s global operations, his colleagues congratulated him. Then asked: “Wait, what does Ant Financial do?”If Feagin does his job right, his new employer will be internationally known soon enough.
Ant is already a big player in China. The financial affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Ant has 450 million customers, who use it to track shares, save money, invest in peer-to-peer lending and pay for things online via its Alipay service and much more. The company is kind of like Citibank, Paypal and ETrade rolled into one. Earlier this year, the company formally known as Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services Group raised $4.5 billion at a reported $60 billion valuation, making it the most valuable Chinese fintech company by far. Ant Financial could go public as soon as this year, according to people familiar with the situation.