JPM names Greater China investment banking heads

After successfully executing on a spate of deals in the second quarter, the Wall Street bank elevates seasoned Greater China investment hands David Lau and Esther Yeh.

In the midst of a busy second quarter in Asia in which it was joint sponsor on one of the year’s biggest equity deals, JP Morgan has made two senior appointments to its Greater China team.

David Lau, head of the bank’s China corporate finance practice, has been named head of global investment banking for Hong Kong, while Esther Yeh has been appointed head of global investment banking for Taiwan, the US bank said.

Lau replaces Catherine Leung, who left the bank earlier this year. Yeh, meanwhile, is taking up the post formerly held by Carl Chien, who was promoted to co-head of Greater China banking in April and retains his role as senior country officer for Taiwan, according to a separate bank communication with FinanceAsia.

"We had a record year in terms of investment banking revenue this year for the region," Chien said in the communication. "Both David and Esther have been with JPM for over a decade and their appointments demonstrate the firm's deep bench of talent."

"We will continue to hire selectively for strategic areas and industries that are presenting significant growth opportunity," Chien said. "China is one of the key areas where we will continue to expand."

The appointments come amid a flurry of activity for JP Morgan in the Asia Pacific region.

David Lau

In May it was a joint sponsor of Huatai Securities’s $4.5 billion initial public offering in Hong Kong. The US bank was also the sole bookrunner on Fortescue’s $2.3 billion secured senior notes transaction and the sole financing bank and advisor on ChemChina’s €8.3bn acquisition of Pirelli, one of the world’s largest tyre manufacturers.

Lau will continue in his corporate finance role, focusing on capital markets transactions for Hong Kong-listed companies and mainland China companies listed in the US, after taking up his new position. He has been with the bank in various investment banking positions for nearly two decades.

Yeh joined JP Morgan in 2004. She has specialised in executing capital market offerings and advisory mandates in Hong Kong and Taiwan. A former UBS investment banker, Yeh has been responsible for client origination and execution as a senior client executive on the bank’s Taiwan investment banking team.

While at UBS Yeh worked for a year in Hong Kong with the merger and acquisition group before embarking for Taiwan to join the Swiss bank's investment banking coverage/origination team between 2002 and 2004.

Esther Yeh

Lau and Yeh will be “responsible for localising our global investment banking strategy, platform and client priorities,” JP Morgan said in a statement attributed to Chien and fellow Greater China co-head David Li. “With their leadership, we’re confident that we will continue to strengthen partnerships across the franchise, serve our clients and fully [capitalise] on the firm’s synergies and potential in these key markets.”

JP Morgan also hired Ling Zhang as managing director and head of the bank’s China healthcare practice.

Formerly with Citi in Hong Kong, Zhang played a key role in several major transactions, including Luye Pharma’s US$878 million Hong Kong IPO last year.

Prior to joining Citi, he was with China International Capital Corporation in Beijing.



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