Newspaper article International New York Times

JPMorgan China Banker to Exit amid Hiring Inquiry ; Fang, a Top Deal Maker, Wrote Emai

Newspaper article International New York Times

JPMorgan China Banker to Exit amid Hiring Inquiry ; Fang, a Top Deal Maker, Wrote Emai

Article excerpt

Fang Fang was one of several executives whose emails discussing hiring practices were turned over to the United States authorities by the bank.

One of JPMorgan Chase's top deal makers in China and a focus of the United States government's investigation into the bank's hiring practices in China is resigning, according to an internal memo sent to staff on Monday.

The banker, Fang Fang, who has spent more than a decade at JPMorgan, most recently as the bank's chief executive for China investment banking and a vice chairman for Asia investment banking, had recently "informed us of his desire to retire," Therese Esperdy, JPMorgan's co-head of banking for Asia-Pacific, wrote in the memo.

Since last year, JPMorgan has been the subject of a federal bribery investigation in the United States that is looking into whether the bank's "Sons and Daughters" hiring program violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by linking the employment of the children of senior Chinese officials and business leaders to winning roles on specific investment banking deals.

Mr. Fang, who is in his late 40s, was one of several JPMorgan executives whose emails discussing hiring practices were turned over to the authorities by the bank. In one of them, he wrote: "You all know I have always been a big believer of the Sons and Daughters program -- it almost has a linear relationship" with winning assignments to advise Chinese companies.

Neither Mr. Fang nor any JPMorgan executives have been accused of wrongdoing as a result of the United States investigation. News of Mr. Fang's departure was first reported on Monday by The Wall Street Journal.

After Mr. Fang's resignation, JPMorgan appointed Frank Gong, another senior banker who was formerly the bank's chief China economist, as its chairman of China investment banking, where he will focus on building client relationships, according to the internal memo.

JPMorgan also promoted the bankers Brian Gu and Jing Zhao as co- heads of investment banking for China.

Mr. Fang has been seen as one of JPMorgan's major rainmakers in China, an executive whose deep network of contacts in Chinese government and business circles helped introduce a flow of lucrative underwriting and advisory roles to the bank. …

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