La Roche has an extensive investment banking background in both China and the US and was a managing director at Morgan Stanley for 20 years, including a term as chief of staff to the chairman. In 1998 she was seconded by Morgan Stanley to serve as CEO of its investment banking joint venture in China, China International Capital Corp û a position she held for about two years until June 2000. Roche left Morgan Stanley shortly after that and went on to spend almost five years as CEO of Salisbury Pharmacy Group, a company specialising in the acquisition, restructuring and operation of independent community pharmacies in Northeastern US. In 2005 and 2006 she was a financial executive at interdealer brokerage firm Cantor Fitzgerald.
La Roche has been an independent member of the board at China Construction Bank since she left CICC and Morgan Stanley, thus keeping her ties to China.
According to the internal announcement, La Roche will bring professional experience and market knowledge that will help accelerate JPMorgan's expansion in China and deepen its involvement in business, government and community relations. She will be working closely with the bankÆs China team, but will report to Gaby Abdelnour, its chairman and CEO for Asia-Pacific.
JPMorgan was the first foreign bank to receive approval to incorporate in Beijing. The new bank, JPMorgan Chase Bank (China), has three branches in Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin.