Fang Fang, JPMorgan Chase’s chief executive for China investment banking, will be stepping down from his position after more than a decade of working for the US bank, insiders have told the South China Morning Post, amid an ongoing US investigation on the company over its hiring practices in China.
Sources with first-hand knowledge of the matter said that JPMorgan had issued an internal memo announcing that Fang Fang, also the company’s vice-chairman of investment banking in Asia, would “retire”, although bankers with ties to the man told the Post that they believe retirement is the typical excuse the bank would give when forcing a senior executive to step down.
The memo also stated that the vice-chairman of China investment banking at JPMorgan, Frank Gong, would be taking the place of Fang Fang.
The departure of Fang, who is also a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultive Conference, happens to occur in the middle of an ongoing US investigation into JPMorgan over its hiring practices in connection to sons and daughters of high-ranking Chinese officials.
In December, The New York Times reported that authorities had obtained documents including spreadsheets and emails detailing JPMorgan’s “Sons and Daughters” hiring program, an “open secret” at the bank’s headquarters in Hong Kong that’s believed to have been created to avoid questionable hiring tactics.
JPMorgan had already been under investigation by US authorities when it was suspected that the company secretly hired the daughter of former-Premier Wen Jiabao under an alias to “promote” the company from within China.
The probe had been extended to other US banks including JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Citicorp, Morgan Stanley, UBS, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, all of which are still under investigation over hiring practices.
Mentions of said investigation have (surprise) been censored on Chinese social media.
[Fang Fang image: Simon Song via SCMP]