JPMorgan: Hiring Chinese Princelings Becomes a Royal Pain

Case Solution

Zhigang Tao, Yihong Yao, W.H. Lo
University of Hong Kong ()

In August 2013, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched a bribery investigation into JPMorgan’s Princeling hiring practices in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China. The Hong Kong investment bank hired the daughter of a senior official of the China State Railways Group (“CRG”) in 2007 and the son of the chairman of the China State Group Everbright (“Everbright”) in 2010. Months later 2007 With the hiring, JPMorgan successfully acquired the initial public offering (“IPO”) of CRG. Although there were few agreements between JPMorgan and Everbright and their subsidiaries prior to 2010, JPMorgan successfully landed various financial advisory jobs for the company. The subsequent investigation by the US Security Exchange Commission highlighted efforts by investment banks to build “guanxi” in China by hiring princesses.

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