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UPDATE 1-Goldman's Asia Pacific chairman Mark Schwartz to retire -memo

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Oct 17 Goldman Sachs Group Inc's Asia Pacific Chairman Mark Schwartz will retire at the end of this year, according to an internal memo.

Schwartz, who has worked at Goldman for 27 years and is based in Beijing, will become a senior director at the firm.

A Goldman spokesman confirmed the contents of the memo.

Schwartz, a member of Goldman's management committee with other senior leaders at the bank, has helped to build the firm's business in the Asia Pacific region. He was president of Goldman's Japan unit from 1997 to 1999 and later served as chairman of Goldman's Asia Pacific business until 2001. He took on that role again in 2012.

Schwartz first joined Goldman in 1979 as an associate in the public utility finance group and worked in several groups including fixed income and debt capital markets.

He left the firm in 2001 and became a senior advisor to Soros Fund Management, eventually becoming president and chief executive officer. He then became chairman of investment firm MissionPoint Capital Partners, which he co-founded, returning to Goldman in 2012.

Schwartz is leaving Goldman as the bank attempts to reduce the number of bankers working on mergers and acquisitions and capital market deals in Asia outside Japan amid a slowdown in the region.

M&A volumes so far this year are down 17 percent in Asia excluding Japan, according to Thomson Reuters data. Equity capital markets volume in the region has fallen 20 percent.

Schwartz's departure is unrelated to these measures, according to a person familiar with his plans.

(Reporting by Olivia Oran in New York; Additional reporting by Lisa Jucca in Hong Kong; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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