One of JPMorgan Chase’s top Chinese executives will resign, according to a bank memo, as regulators investigate whether the financial giant violated anti-bribery laws in Asia.
Fang Fang, who served as chief executive of JPMorgan’s China investment banking unit before being appointed to vice chairman of investment banking for all Asia in 2009, “has informed us of his desire to retire,” said a memo from Therese Esperdy, co-head of Asia-Pacific banking at JPMorgan.
The memo did not elaborate on his reason for stepping down. Esperdy said Fang, who joined JPMorgan in 2001, should be credited with helping the bank achieve a leadership role in the region.
“During his time with JPMorgan, the firm has become one of the most influential investment banks in China that can rightfully claim leadership in terms of product capabilities, depth of client franchise and the strength of our team,” Esperdy said on Monday.
Esperdy announced promotions for three other executives to lead Chinese banking.
The resignation comes as JPMorgan faces investigations from the US Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission on whether it hired friends and relatives of powerful government officials to win business in Asia Pacific.
JPMorgan said it was co-operating with the US probes and with parallel inquiries by other governments, according to a February US securities filing.
US investigators are looking at Fang’s role in the hiring of the son of China Everbright Group Chairman Tang Shuangning and whether the job placement helped JPMorgan win business with the conglomerate, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Executives such as Fang would make hiring recommendations to a JPMorgan recruitment program that targeted the children of powerful Chinese executives, the Journal said, citing unnamed sources.
Investigators are also looking at JPMorgan’s hiring of a daughter of former Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao as a consultant whose company helped JPMorgan land business with state-run China Railway Group, the New York Times reported previously.